Government to begin review of UK digital radio sector

Josh Hall's picture

The government is set to conduct a root-and-branch review of UK digital radio, including the state of advertising.

During her keynote address to London's Radio Festival, minister for digital and the creative industries Margot James said the review will begin in the coming weeks, and will conclude by the middle of next year.

As Advanced Television reports, setting out the government's reasoning for the review James said: "The market is more competitive than ever, with competition from podcasts and music streaming services.

"Six million people listen to podcasts each week in the UK – and many of them are younger people, who are increasingly seeing podcasts as their default way of getting audio content.

"Alongside this change in consumption habits, digital advertising is become more prominent, which can create challenges around how to gain value from content.”

During the review the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will work with broadcasters and others in the radio supply chain to assess the state of the sector and to lay the groundwork for a "healthy and vibrant digital future for UK radio," James added.

As we reported this morning, elsewhere at the Radio Festival the BBC announced the launch of a "public service algorithm" for content recommendation, to help users of its Sounds app to escape virtual 'echo chambers'.

BBC director of radio and education James Purnell told attendees: "“This is not an algorithm that just gives you more of the same, but an algorithm built to surprise you, to direct your attention to new information, to different points of view, to pop your bubble.

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