Radioplayer invites online-only radio stations

By James Cridland for
Posted 20 February 2015, 7.02am est

Peter MacAvock

The UK Radioplayer this morning announced a trial to include new, online-only radio stations inside Radioplayer apps and players.

The initiative potentially allows new and interesting services to appear on the Radioplayer, which is used, says the Managing Director Michael Hill, by six million listeners.

However, online-only radio stations can only be added by existing radio station broadcasters, and there is a limit to the amount of additional services they can add. For most broadcasters within the Radioplayer, they'll only be able to add one additional service.

These stations must also have "appropriate music licensing". Existing radio broadcaster music licences aren't valid for additional online-only music services, so this is a significant hurdle for broadcasters wishing to experiment with music-based services.

Additionally, the rules highlight that services should have "the same editorial standards as Ofcom licensed stations" and that they must be a radio-like service, and not merely consist of looped podcasts.

These restrictions notwithstanding, this may be an opportunity for applicants to showcase the additional services they have planned for their bid for the second digital radio multiplex, and to demonstrate listener reaction. Other potential opportunities might be a programmed service consisting of 'best of' content from radio stations and time-shifting opportunities for speech stations.

Additionally, since these services could be short-lived, opportunities might also include "Festival Live" type radio stations, carrying full coverage from music festivals or live concerts, programmed to co-exist with editorial highlights on the main station.

Radioplayer is available on desktop, tablet and mobile apps, and is a not-for-profit organisation owned by the UK radio industry.

  • What would you use your additional slot for? The comments are open.

Press release

The online listening platform for radio backed by the BBC and commercial radio, is today (Feb 20) announcing two initiatives aimed at helping the radio industry to grow.

Established Radioplayer broadcasters can now add ‘extra’ online-only services alongside their existing stations, in an initiative designed to encourage content and format experimentation.

Michael Hill, Managing Director of Radioplayer said: "With around 15 DAB slots available next year for new national commercial stations and lots of opportunities remaining on local DAB, we thought we’d give the industry a chance to experiment on a platform with more than six million listeners. We’re hoping to see some great online-only pop-up stations from experienced and trusted broadcasters.”

This trial initiative will be on offer to radio groups which have already been in Radioplayer for a least a year. Companies with anything from one to ten stations in Radioplayer will be entitled to add one 'extra' service.

A further 'extra' station can be added for every ten additional existing stations, meaning a company with twenty stations will be entitled to add two 'extra' services, and so on. New stations must meet the same editorial standards as Ofcom licensed stations.

All applicants will be subject to a mandatory criteria to include full compliance with Ofcom’s broadcasting code, appropriate music licensing, appeal to UK audience, and a ‘radio-like’ stream of original content (rather than a looped podcast).

Radioplayer has also developed a ‘hosted player’ service, aimed at making it easy for small student and community radio stations to join. Previously, every station had to ‘host’ the pop-up Radioplayer on their own site, which was difficult for some small stations with limited web resource. Now, these stations can join simply by supplying a good-quality logo and a stream. The Radioplayer team will do the rest, building and hosting the pop-up player in the Cloud, for the station to link to.

More information

UK Radioplayer Ltd
UK radio in one place
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.


6 years, 2 months ago

Radioplayer invites online-only radio stations

It looks like this title is a bit misleading: both from your description and the beginning of the release I took it that they only 'invited' additional services by existing broadcasters.

6 years, 2 months ago

And it still won't make me use Radio Player because there are still glaringly obvious stations that ought to be on there broadcasting to local areas but are not on the service. Meanwhile, TuneIn, although its indexing is a bit messy (e.g. stations like Eagle 3, Metro 3 etc appearing under Glasgow), lists just about every station I know.

6 years, 2 months ago

Art - given that it's only £99 to be on Radioplayer if you're a small station (as far as I know), I don't understand why every UK station isn't there. As a service to the industry, it's worth funding in any case.

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