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Home / News / BBC plans to launch 4 new spin-off radio stations criticised by business radio sector

BBC plans to launch 4 new spin-off radio stations criticised by business radio sector


The BBC‘s announcement of its plans to launch 4 new radio stations has attracted criticism from the business radio sector.

The 4 stations, which is able to air through DAB+ and BBC Sounds, would be the first BBC stations launched digitally since 1Xtra, 6Music and the Asian Community in 2002.

The stations, that are at present unnamed, are intented to present listeners “extra alternative and worth from the licence price”. The BBC added that they’ll “delve deeper into particular genres and intervals of music with context, curation and storytelling completed in a method solely the BBC can do”.

There shall be a Radio 1 spin-off, which is able to play music from the 2000s and 2010s to seize the latest wave of nostalgia for these time intervals. “Lesser-heard gems” shall be spotlighted from high-profile artists. The station may also act as a hub for creating new expertise on- and off-air.

A Radio 2 spin-off can be within the works, which is able to give attention to the 50s, 60s, and 70s. It should function “a particular tackle pop nostalgia” and can spotlight “among the individuals who formed the cultural panorama on the time” in addition to among the station’s present presenters.

Normal view of Broadcasting Home, the BBC headquarters in central London. Credit score: Vuk Valcic/SOPA Pictures/LightRocket through Getty Pictures

The Radio 2 spin-off can be meant to “carry heritage artist catalogues and tales to life in a a lot deeper and extra richly textured method than the primary mixed-genre Radio 2 schedule can enable”.

Radio 3 may also purchase a brand new station devoted honing in on classical music, focused in the direction of these desirous to “unwind, de-stress and escape the pressures of every day life”. It should additionally play extra up to date compositions alongside older classics, and would champion residing composers.

This new spin-off would additionally assist BBC Proms content material, together with content material from the BBC orchestras, choirs, and Introducing acts.

Lastly, the BBC is planning to increase on the prevailing Radio 1 Dance station by launching it on DAB+ with added content material. It’s at present obtainable on BBC Sounds. The brand new and improved Radio 1 Dance will reportedly highlight programmes that develop younger expertise.

There shall be a public session in regards to the launch of the 4 stations, together with a Public Curiosity Check (PIT), which ought to occur within the coming weeks.

Lorna Clarke, director of BBC Music, mentioned of the launch: “Our stations have captured the historical past of music within the UK in the course of the previous six many years for our audiences, and we now wish to give them extra alternative from the BBC as listening habits are altering.

“Our extensions for Radio 1, Radio 2 and Radio 3 will enable listeners to deep-dive into extra pop and classical genres and intervals of music they love essentially the most, uniquely created by the BBC.”

The transfer has attracted criticism from the business radio sector. Stations equivalent to Absolute, Clean, Virgin and Coronary heart at present have stations specializing in particular genres or many years.

Business representatives Radio Centre referred to as for Ofcom to reject the proposals, saying: “The BBC are, but once more, trying to compete immediately with business radio stations, interfering with the market and failing to supply distinct public worth. UK audiences are very properly catered for with extra alternative than ever, particularly for music spin-off stations.”

In an announcement to RadioToday, Increase Radio co-founder Phil Riley added: “We’re puzzled by this potential transfer by the BBC. Given the latest pattern which has seen BBC Radio 2 dropping older listeners of their 1000’s, it smacks considerably of panic.

“It additionally stays to be seen if the BBC will go Ofcom’s competitors evaluation check to make sure that this provides worth and doesn’t have an opposed influence on opponents or the market.”

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