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BBC, Commercial Radio Team for Digital Britain

Cross-sector initiative announced to 'secure radio's future in the digital age.'

Radio will be central to the Digital Britain initiative if the British radio sector has its way.

Speaking at the Radio Reborn conference in London, Tim Davie from the BBC, Andrew Harrison from RadioCentre and Ashley Tabor from Global Radio announced a new partnership to “secure radio’s future in the digital age.”

The initiative will see the formation of The Radio Council — a leadership group made up of the BBC; the three largest commercial groups: Global Radio, Bauer Media and GMG; and the RadioCentre to represent the rest of the commercial sector — to drive sector-wide digital radio efforts.

The Radio Council expects to meet quarterly with its chairmanship rotating annually between the BBC and the commercial sector. Davie will serve as chair for the first year.

Three cross-sector digital projects are slated for early development:

  • an online live radio player that streams all live U.K. radio stations from a single open platform
  • a common user interface and EPG for all listeners and all devices —DAB, DTV, online and mobile phones
  • a calendar of exclusive digital-only content for listeners on DAB

The BBC Trust and RadioCentre board would approve these and other projects prior to launch.

The Radio Council also plans to coordinate with the government on the appointment of a CEO for the Digital Radio Delivery Group proposed by Lord Carter in the Digital Britain interim report.