Will BBC's 'Radio Plus' save commercial radio?

Can the BBC's 'Radio Plus' tech save struggling commercial stations?
Can the BBC's 'Radio Plus' tech save struggling commercial stations?

Every single one of the UK's thousands of radio stations may soon be accessible and recordable via the BBC's new 'Radio Plus' technology.

Radio Plus is being touted as a single online radio player open to all broadcast radio providers and, if all goes to Aunty's plan, it may well be available to British radio listeners within the next 12 months.

The service is basically an extension of the BBC's iPlayer.

Common standard nationwide

"Longer term proposals would see a common standard… that works across digital devices to offer the sort of pre-booking services found on Sky Plus and other personal video recorders," reports the Media Guardian this week.

"Why shouldn't we be able to live pause, put it on hard drive, grab stuff from the past seven days and pre-book on [all] radio [stations] as well as TV," claims Tim Davie, Head of BBC audio and music.

"Is the BBC going to stand by or take tangible, measurable steps to partner, support and share some of its advantages to other media players?" he added.

Could 'Radio Plus' provide the major shot in the arm that the UK's struggling commercial digital radio industry needs right now?

Andrew Harrison, Chief Exec of trade body Radio Centre, certainly thinks so, claiming that "the concept for this is entirely open access and will showcase all UK radio."

Adam Hartley