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performers are recorded for and

broadcast on the BBC’s pop music

stations Radio 1 and Radio 2 as well

as being made available in video

online and on digital TV.


At the same time as these video

initiatives supporting radio

programmes, technological

developments are being harnessed

to deliver an ever better service to

audiences. The BBC’s Responsive

Radio project allows listeners to

choose the length of the spoken

word radio programme they want

to hear on demand. A documentary

programme that is, for example, 28’

or 57’ in duration can be shortened

automatically using something the

BBC’s Research and Development

department calls object-based

broadcasting. Listeners might want

to download a programme for a

specific journey on the bus or train.

Suppose that listener’s journey is

18’. Using Responsive Radio, the

listener can choose to listen to the

same programme, changing the

amount of detail it gives them to fit

the length of time they want to

listen. Since programmes are made

up of different items – or objects –

In the UK, commercial radio

revenue stands at around £483m

while the BBC’s spend on its

domestic radio services is about

£725m .

In many markets, radio revenues

are growing, bucking the trend that

exists in some sectors of the media,

such as print.

Direct revenues are not the only

business issue that we need to

consider when looking at the radio

industry. Companies that supply

products and services to radio

broadcasters – from transmission

providers to news agencies – play a

significant role across the industry,

helping generate revenues,

stimulate research and

development and create jobs.

Independent producers of

programmes also benefit from the

robust radio industry in many parts

of the world, as more broadcasters

seek new ideas from outside their

organisations to keep schedules

fresh and inspirational.

With so much music played on

radio stations locally, nationally

and even internationally, the music

industry accrues benefits from

radio. A good number of artists

owe their successful careers to

radio after their songs were

broadcast on national stations for

the first time. Some, like Taylor

Swift, have decided that online

streaming services like Spotify

simply don’t provide fair payment

for artists.

This is another area where radio

scores – payment for music played

on radio has been successfully

negotiated by performing rights

societies around the world, with

collection systems in place that

reward musicians and performers

for the needle-time that their work



There is no doubting the fact that

radio faces competition for the

attention of its audience in huge

areas of the world. Television is

booming in previously ‘radio-only’

areas of Africa, Asia and Latin

America. Tablets and mobiles are

becoming commonplace

everywhere, bringing with them a

wealth of choice of content –

provided, of course, you can afford

the data costs or the subscription


Radio is responding robustly to

these – and other – challenges by

innovating to ensure its relevance

in the always-on 21st century.

Webcams in studios were

introduced some years ago,

providing listeners with a behind

the scenes view of what the

presenter does in the studio. Today,

those experiments have been

extended to live streaming and on-

demand video. In Paris, news and

current affairs station Europe 1

provides videos of key interviews

distributed via on-demand

platforms such as Dailymotion with

links from Facebook.

In the UK, the flagship news and

current affairs programme



BBC Radio 4 has had HD cameras

installed for some time and

routinely produces video

recordings of high profile

interviews and stories that are

available on demand via the BBC

website and on social platforms

such as Facebook.

In music, live sessions by top









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