The BBC-backed radio catch-up service UK Radioplayer launches later this month, offering Brits the chance to access on-demand and catch-up radio programming from hundreds of commercial and BBC stations.

UK Radioplayer – which has been somewhat confusingly dubbed 'iPlayer for radio' (seeing as the current iPlayer already covers many BBC stations) - is now set to launch on March 31.

The opportunity of being able to instantly search almost all of Britain's hundreds of superb radio stations – commercial and BBC - via programme, musical genre, song title and the like – and then being able to create a playlist of your favourites is what the developers hope will be the key to mass appeal.

The key advantage of UK Radioplayer over the current iPlayer is the fact that the service will allow you to catch-up with over 200 BBC and commercial British radio stations.

The comprehensive new on-demand and catch-up radio service will initially be made available via the YouView web-connected set-top box platform.

Thousands of hours of programming searchable

BBC director of audio and music, Tim Davie, first outlined the plans for UK Radioplayer two years ago.

UK Radioplayer notes on its website: "We'll start with about 150 stations, then add more as fast as we can. Within a few weeks Radioplayer aims to feature the vast majority of the UK's radio stations – between 200-300 individual services, with thousands of hours of on-demand programmes and podcasts searchable too"

Radio consultant Matt Deega from Folder Media announced he was: "Very excited about UK Radio Player launching on the 31st March," adding that they were "very pleased with our stations' implementation."

Any station can join up to the UK Radioplayer, providing that their digital content meets the necessary requirements.

Unique Interactive is the company responsible for developing the technology behind UK Radioplayer, with leader of software development on the project Adrian Cross claiming that the system's "aligned streaming format will facilitate broader support across other platforms such as internet-connected set-top boxes and mobile devices."

Via The Telegraph