BBC drawing up Radio 2.0 plan to keep listeners hooked

24 Mar 2009

The BBC is drawing up plans for an online player service for catch-up radio that will provide listeners with access to every radio station in the UK, and series-link and record favourite programmes and segments.

The new player will allow users to search for radio stations and programmes in a similar fashion to the iPlayer, and will also provide listeners with seven-day catch-up radio services.

The new standard is expected to be dubbed Radio Plus. It will work across digital devices and give users the kinds of services they are used to on TV, such as that provided by Sky, where viewers can live-pause, series-link and pre-book items for recording.

Last week, reported on how RTÉ 2FM has invested €230,000 in a new website that will provide listeners with the ability to share radio media with friends on Bebo, tag favourite content and download songs they’ve heard on the radio.

Irish technology firm Catch was the technological driving force behind the new 2FM site.

It’s all part of a plan to target a radio sweet spot that broadcasters are anxious to exploit in the new digital world – the background listener. As defined by Bauer Media, these individuals make up 40pc of the 16-45-year-old listening public in the UK. They believe songs are more important than albums and mainly listen to music at home or in the car.

The BBC plans to make the Radio Plus platform an open one that avoids bespoke solutions and will benefit Digital Britain as a whole, working with providers such as ITV and the Bauer Media Group.

By John Kennedy

Pictured: the BBC’s massively popular iPlayer TV catch-up service. It is now planning a version for radio.