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BBC Sounds


BBC Sounds


BBC Sounds brings together live and on-demand radio, music and podcasts into a single personalised app and website. On-demand audio and podcasts for BBC Sounds will be driven by commissioners who are mainly based within existing audio commissioning teams across the BBC, working closely with the BBC Sounds central commissioning team to deliver the editorial vision.

BBC Sounds Commissioners

The Controller Jonathan Wall leads a team who commission for BBC Sounds. Below are their main areas of responsibility for Sounds, but some also commission other digital-focused content on behalf of the BBC’s linear radio stations

Jason Phipps, Commissioning Editor in the Sounds Team, based at NBH London

Innovative Audio with the Potential for Global Impact

Jason and his team are podcast specialists who are looking for habit forming, innovative podcasts, which are focused at younger audiences (16-29) with potential for a global impact.

  • The team are searching for innovation in formats, and new voices, such as George the Poet.

  • Attention grabbing content that helps young people understand themselves, their experiences, and make sense of the world, such as Fashion Fix and Jacob Hawley: On Drugs

  • They want those big stories and investigations that have global resonance, …tales of intrigue a listener can get lost in e.g. The Missing Cryptoqueen

  • Innovative blockbuster drama with a new sound aimed at younger audiences that can build a listening habit, including recently commissioned The Cipher

  • The team’s doors are open to new and existing producers with an understanding of digital culture and something to say.

Richard Maddock, Commissioning Editor for Radio 5 live, based in Salford

Sport, Sport Entertainment and Popular Journalism

  • As you’d expect from the home of BBC Radio 5 live, Richard specialises in Sport, and UK News & Current Affairs aimed at a wide audience. In addition to his role commissioning for the Radio 5 live linear service, Richard is concentrating on the following areas for BBC Sounds:

  • Sport podcasts with the best experts and the best analysis and perspectives across all sports including rugby, tennis, cycling, boxing and F1

  • Sport ‘Plus’: sports and entertainment combined that might involve personalities and/or lifestyle such as That Peter Crouch Podcast, Tailenders and sportsmen/women in new & different contexts such as Kevin Pieterson’s Beast of Man

  • Serious UK based news investigations with a wide appeal and a focus on quality journalism

  • Dramatic storytelling on a human level, potentially featuring ‘ordinary’ people you may not have heard of, in extraordinary situations such as, Beyond Reasonable Doubt.

  • Spin off formats with 5 live talent

Louise Kattenhorn, Commissioning Executive for Radio 1and 1Xtra based in London

Popular Culture and Music for Young Audiences

Louise sits with the teams working on Radio 1 and Radio 1Xtra. As you’d expect, this is the centre for popular culture serving younger (16-24) audiences.

  • Chatty popular culture/celebrity formats aimed at a young audience e.g. The Gemma Collins Podcast

  • Podcasts centred on reality TV, TV fans and big TV shows such as Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK and the Obsessed With… series

  • Entertainment focused podcasts

  • Regular, habit forming fun podcasts with a unique insight into music and music talent

Rhian Roberts, Digital Commissioning Editor for Radio 3 and Radio 4, based at NBH London

Quality Speech, New Comedy and National & International Journalism

As digital commissioning editor, Rhian works closely with the Radio 3 and Radio 4 commissioning teams, collaborating with the specialists in drama, arts and comedy to find the very best in speech audio.

  • New comedies aimed at younger audiences (25-35s) such as Radio 4’s GrownUpLand.

  • Factual Drama such as Forest 404

  • News stories and investigations with national and international dimensions and people

  • Inspirational ideas and ‘learning by accident’ (e.g. You’re Dead To Me with Greg Jenner)

  • Dramatic & Innovative Storytelling such as Tunnel 29

  • Funny Factual (e.g. Evil Genius)

  • Audiobooks

  • New voices to audio

In addition, there are further opportunities with Khaliq Meer, Commissioning Executive for Asian Network, based in London, who is looking for ideas that reflect young British Asian experiences through entertaining speech, such as, Brown Girls Do It Too and But…Where Are You Really From?

BBC Sounds also has some opportunities for Children’s and Teens. John Leagas is the contact who is based with CBBC in Salford.

Commissions from other parts of the BBC such as BBC World Service and BBC Local Radio also feature on BBC Sounds, please watch out for tenders from all these areas.

Current BBC Sounds rounds

BBC Sounds Audience needs