BBC to join Digital One in radio drive

Digital One and the BBC have announced plans to work together to promote digital radio.

Digital One and the BBC have announced plans to work together to

promote digital radio.



They will start by marketing the medium at major exhibitions, beginning

with the Motor Show at Birmingham NEC this November. They will also work

together to devise a digital radio audience measurement system, expected

to come from Rajar.



The BBC and Digital One are researching receiver predictability to find

the correct measuring mechanism for the new medium.



The digital radio market is split equally between the BBC and Digital

One’s ten national multiplex channels, but a collaboration between the

BBC and the commercial sector is completely logical, according to both

parties.



’We don’t want to send out confused messages to the consumer and we need

to build a base of digital radio audiences before we can even think

about being competitive,’ commented Quentin Howard, chief executive of

Digital One.



’It’s similar to the battle between ONdigital and Sky - you’re fishing

for the same audience but wasting huge resources just trying to hook

customers. What’s exciting to us is that commercial radio can operate

for the first time on the same national playing field as the BBC,’

Howard explained.



Glyn Jones, project director at BBC digital radio, said: ’Digital One

and the BBC recognise that this is a time for co-operation to help

deliver the substantial benefits of digital radio to the UK consumer.

Working together on a range of marketing initiatives will help each of

us attract more attention and have a greater impact.’



However, Howard added that government regulations will restrict the

growth of radio if the points allocated to each station are not

liberalised.



’ I don’t understand why radio is restricted to 15 per cent of radio

points, while TV gets away with 25 per cent,’ he said. ’This is so

limiting in terms of expanding the industry, and a reason why

partnerships and mergers will change the radio map.’



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