NEWS14 March 2022

Radio industry bodies restructure to maximise digital opportunities

Leisure & Arts Media News UK

UK – The BBC, Global, Bauer and Radiocentre have jointly agreed to restructure two radio industry bodies, Radioplayer and Digital Radio UK, following the government’s Digital Radio and Audio Review.

Vintage radio dial showing frequencies

The cross-industry collaboration means the BBC, Global and Bauer will significantly increase investment in Radioplayer. This is to ensure radio and audio remains easily accessible and prominent in cars and on other IP platforms, as well as to pursue further international collaboration for the good of the wider radio industry.

The activities of Digital Radio UK will also transfer into Radioplayer.

The review highlighted that there are “significant benefits” from strengthening the partnerships and cooperation between UK broadcasters, partnerships with European radio broadcasters, audio device manufacturers and with retailers to promote the benefits of radio and audio, plus the increased choice of services available.

While FM will continue to play a critical role until at least 2030, the future of radio is both digital and multiplatform, with online platforms playing an increasingly important role alongside DAB/DAB+ in securing radio’s digital future, with cars in particular representing a critical emerging connected environment.

Digital Radio UK was founded in 2010, when only 25% of radio listening was digital. By 2021 this had increased to 65%. With digital listening firmly established, the next growth opportunity will be global IP platforms, as new technologies continue to develop.

In a joint statement the BBC, Bauer, Global and Radiocentre said: “We know there are further significant changes taking place in the audio market and in how audiences are accessing our content, as the recent review highlighted. 

“The newly structured Radioplayer, combined with increased investment and continued collaboration, will allow us to embrace every digital opportunity available to us and successfully deliver the next phase of innovation and transformation for the radio industry.”