Press Office

Thursday 18 Sep 2014

Press Release

BBC and commercial radio in world first with launch of Radioplayer

Radioplayer, the online listening platform for radio, today goes live in a ground-breaking partnership between the BBC and commercial radio, representing a pan-industry world first by bringing radio together online in one place.

Internet radio, currently attracting around 4.5 million listeners a week [2], is set to be transformed with the launch of Radioplayer, which will offer UK radio in one place, a cross-industry search function and the ability to save your favourite stations and programmes for ease of use.

Radioplayer's innovative search facility, which will be refined and expanded over coming months, will help listeners explore UK radio, with five easy ways to search: by station, programme, location, presenter or topic. On-demand programmes, "listen again" and commercial radio podcasts [3] will also be searchable, with live output or "just broadcast" listed higher than older programming.

All BBC national and local stations as well as commercial radio, including Global's Capital and Heart networks, GMG's Smooth Radio and Absolute Radio, will be available on Radioplayer.

It is also announced today that Bauer Media and UTV Media owned stations will be joining Radioplayer within a week of launch, taking the total number of stations available from 157 to 228 – with all the UK's major radio groups now available on Radioplayer. Other stations joining Radioplayer on week two of its roll-out include Fun Kids, Global Traffic Network, Planet Rock and Manx Radio, which will be followed in the coming weeks by hundreds of local, regional, student and community radio stations.

Listeners will have access to a one-stop shop for hundreds of stations, with Radioplayer's intelligent functionality making online listening accessible, intuitive and simple. Users will be able to flick between stations at the click of a button as well as store favourites as pre-sets, offering all the simplicity of a traditional radio, with all the benefits of digital.

Radioplayer is expected to become a vital component of the radio industry's multiplatform digital future alongside DAB, with potential roll-out plans seeing Radioplayer available on mobile devices, including smart phones and tablet computers. Radioplayer is also confirmed as a content advisory partner for the YouView internet TV project, set to launch in 2012.

Radioplayer will use stations' existing audio streams, leaving radio stations in full control of their branding, audio and visual content, with commercial radio stations also able to add sponsorship and advertising to their "skins" – pop-up front page.

Tim Davie, Director, BBC Audio and Music, says: "Radioplayer's strength is a simple, powerful offer to listeners: all of radio in one place. This partnership is another signal that the radio industry is accelerating cross-industry innovation."

Andrew Harrison, Chairman, UK Radioplayer Ltd, says: "Radioplayer will benefit the entire UK radio industry – BBC, commercial, and all Ofcom-licensed community, hospital and student radio. Every station on Radioplayer will be one click away from every other station, and listeners will have the ability to search the whole of UK radio, discovering exciting new content. All stations will be treated equally, and the smallest station will pay the least to join. We're aiming for the whole of UK radio to be on Radioplayer within a year."

Michael Hill, Managing Director, UK Radioplayer Ltd, says: "Radioplayer represents a united industry investment in its digital future. Over the next few weeks Radioplayer is set to expand rapidly, offering consumer choice across hundreds of stations and thousands of programmes. That choice could soon extend to platforms including mobiles, tablets, connected TVs and hybrid radios."

Notes to Editors

The stations included in Phase 1 of Radioplayer roll-out reach a cumulative internet reach of 3.454m – Source: RAJAR Q4 2010.

[2] 4.5m people a week listen to the radio via the internet – Source: RAJAR Q4 2010.

[3] The listen again function will not be available from all stations.

The BBC's listen again function will only hold seven days of content.

Commercial radio's listen again function will hold 14 days of content.

BBC podcasts will not be searchable via Radioplayer.

Radioplayer UK Ltd is a not-for-profit company founded by BBC, Global Radio, GMG Radio, Absolute Radio and RadioCentre.

Radioplayer will be open to all Ofcom-licensed stations.

Stations will be charged a fee for a place on the player proportional to their size.

3.1% of all listening is via the internet.

A full list of radio stations currently available via Radioplayer can be found here www.radioplayer.co.uk.

DL

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