New online radio platform unveiled

Thursday, November 19 2009, 13:00 GMT

By Andrew Laughlin,

The BBC and commercial radio industry have jointly unveiled a new online radio player to host output from every Ofcom licensed station in the UK.

Titled the UK Radioplayer, the pop-up console will be able to stream 400 national, local, community and student radio stations on a specially designed platform. It is due to launch in early 2010.

"This is a really exciting development and a result of focused, collaborative thinking within the radio industry," said BBC audio & music director Tim Davie. "The aim of this service is to grow listening across the industry and help preserve radio's unique position."

RadioCentre chief executive Andrew Harrison added: "The Radioplayer brings together all of the UK's radio output in one online console. This is a breakthrough for listeners and an attractive new proposition for advertisers."

Listeners are able to use search functions to browse every station on the service, as well as track down news programming, sports highlights, music genres and even individual songs. Pre-set buttons are available to lock down favourite stations for ease of access.

Aside from the live streams, the Radioplayer will also host on-demand audio, click-to-buy music services, webcams, track listings, adverts and other content.

Developed as a partnership between the BBC, RadioCentre, Global Radio and Guardian Media Group, the player will be made available from the websites of every licensed radio station.

Welcoming the new service, Global Group founder and chief executive Ashley Tabor said: "Radioplayer has been developed with the listener in mind and is a big step forward for the radio industry as a whole, providing further cohesion between commercial radio and the BBC as we drive to digital."

GMG Radio chief executive Stuart Taylor added: "This collaborative project reflects the industry's commitment to an improved user experience for radio online as IP-enabled devices proliferate. The new opportunities for advertisers will add to the growing number of cross platform solutions already in place."

The launch of Radioplayer is still subject to completion of a consultation between the BBC Trust and the RadioCentre board. However, there are further plans in place to bring a bespoke version for the platform to smartphones and other IP-enabled TV platforms in the future.