UK radio industry bodies restructure
March 11, 2022
By Colin Mann
In a move they say will maximise digital and multiplatform opportunity, trade body Digital Radio UK’s activities are to be transferred into Radioplayer, a non-profit partnership between the BBC and commercial radio, as part of plans jointly agreed by the BBC, Global, Bauer and Radiocentre to restructure the two radio industry bodies, following the Government & Industry Digital Radio and Audio Review.
The cross-industry collaboration means the BBC, Global and Bauer will significantly increase investment in Radioplayer to ensure that radio and audio remains easily accessible and prominent in cars and on other IP platforms, which benefits all audiences, and to pursue further international collaboration for the good of the wider radio industry. The activities of Digital Radio UK will therefore 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, and 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, and with cars in particular representing a critical emerging connected environment.
Digital Radio UK was founded in 2010, when only 25 per cent of radio listening was digital. In 2021, 65 per cent of all radio listening is now digital. With digital listening firmly established, the next growth opportunity will be global IP platforms, as new technologies continue to develop.
Ford Ennals has decided to step down as CEO of Digital Radio UK, having achieved Digital Radio UK’s mission to accelerate digital listening.
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 Digital Radio and Audio 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. We’d like to thank Ford Ennals for his services to digital listening, which is now the way most people listen to radio.”