Ofcom: music formats and small-scale DAB: 'significant work'

By James Cridland for
Posted 26 March 2015, 6.42am edt

Ofcom, the UK regulator, have today released their Annual Plan for the coming twelve months.

In the plan there are two specific elements highlighted for the radio industry.

Ofcom's consultation on a revised framework for regulating the music played by commercial radio is one of the pieces of "significant work" highlighted by Ofcom.

The consultation is still ongoing - you've until 2 April to get your responses in to Ofcom - and will probably result in a significant relaxation of music format rules. Currently, Ofcom regulates the type of music that can be played by commercial radio stations, and it is likely that these guidelines will be significantly relaxed.

In considering whether to change how we regulate the music played by local commercial radio stations, we will aim to strike a balance between our statutory duty to secure diversity for listeners while encouraging competition and giving stations the flexibility to adapt to changing consumer tastes.

Ofcom say that they expect to publish their final statement before the end of June, and that this new framework could be in place for summer.

Secondly, small-scale DAB is now highlighted as a piece of significant work. Ofcom are currently looking for small-scale operators of multiplexes for a trial, and these should launch in the summer. These trials will run for nine months, after which Ofcom will submit a final report to government in summer of next year.

The majority of Ofcom's work is focused around telecommunications - fixed broadband and mobile.

More information

Media regulator for the UK
James Cridland — James runs, and is a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business. He also publishes a free daily newsletter about podcasting, Podnews, and a weekly radio trends newsletter.

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