Radio Cymru to trial new digital services

Sound equipment Image copyright Thinkstock

Welsh language broadcaster BBC Radio Cymru is to trial a "pop-up radio station" to extend services to listeners.

Editor Betsan Powys said it was important the station "exploits all the opportunities" as digital platforms continued to develop.

It will be available online, via the BBC iPlayer Radio and on digital radio in south east Wales.

The station's existing schedule on FM and digital radio will not be affected.

The three-month trial starts in the autumn.

The station will also offer a new online "digital space" for its youth audiences, a collaboration with partners to find new voices, and use the new BBC Music app which allows users to select their favourite music, including Welsh artists.

Ms Powys said: "After three months we'll consider the next steps in light of the trial results, technological developments and the reality of the BBC's financial position."

The trial service will be available on weekday mornings.

The station marks its 40th anniversary in 2017.

Analysis by Huw Thomas, BBC Wales arts and media correspondent

As the only Welsh language station, Radio Cymru has to provide programming to meet every taste.

When, in 2013, Radio Cymru asked its audience what it wanted from the service, a second Welsh language station was a surprisingly popular request.

Its core audience is loyal but ageing. Launching a new service on digital radio and via the iPlayer app acknowledges that the station has to try harder to reach younger audiences, without alienating its existing listeners.

But it launches its pop-up station at a time when attracting younger audiences is a challenge facing all media providers.

Capturing this elusive market for a Welsh-language outlet could be trickier still.

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