The BBC plans to expand its broadcast dominance by partnering with commercial broadcasters, launching an “iPlayer for radio” service, UK Radio Player, in late March.
Already having opened the “catch-up” television service iPlayer to external companies, linking programming through the popular online playback service, this new UK Radio Player will do a similar with for the audio airwaves. Including an initial 150 UK radio stations with plans to add more providing “thousands of hours of on-demand programmes and podcasts searchable too”, the service is set to be big.
The BBC iPlayer currently covers the whole Beeb spectrum from TV to radio, so presumably its own radio product will now be relocated and lead the charge of this new service, with any and all British broadcasters eligible to join up with the UK Radio Player service (as long as they meet suitable requirements and quality standards). This will provide a huge amount of coverage for everyone, and will allow the largest to the most obscure of stations to get out there and be heard.
With a web-connection or YouView connected set-top box, listeners will easily be able to tune in by searching options such as programme and musical genre and listen to favourite shows, discover new ones simply and clearly through the UK Radio Player service.
Stay tuned for March 31st when this service hits the air!