Radio - UK - March 2010
The two main sectors of the radio industry in the UK have experienced contrasting fortunes during the past two years. The BBC, with a steady flow of income provided by the licence fee, has continued to expand its horizons and remains a major player with a 55% share of listening. In contrast, the commercial sector has been hit hard by the economic recession, with ad revenues sharply lower, bringing the viability of a number of stations into question.
The industry stands on the threshold of a new era in radio broadcasting with the promised switch to digital radio underway but taking longer to execute than perhaps anyone in the industry had anticipated. As a result, the date of 2015 set in the Digital Economy bill looks increasingly optimistic. Additionally, the industry has split under the pressure of the debate about digital, with several notable operators leaving the industry body, the RadioCentre.
This report examines the current status of the radio industry in the UK, including both the public service broadcasting element (the BBC) and commercial operators, both national and local/regional. It also profiles the major players, looks at perceptions of their brands and assesses consumer attitudes towards a variety of different aspects of the provision of radio services, including the hot topic of DAB digital. Mintel last reported on this subject in Radio – UK, February 2008.
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