BBC Radio looks to build on “international appetite” for content

Public broadcaster has committed to further investment in “creative ideas from a wide range of suppliers”

An internal review of BBC Radio has found there is an international appetite for content, according to chief executive officer of BBC Studios, Tom Fussell.

BBC Radio has committed to a continued investment in content as the public broadcaster looks to build on audiences’ listening habits and offer more opportunities for talent. There will be no wholesale changes to the way the BBC produce content, with Fussell confirming that future investment is on the way.

“There’s a real international appetite for content that is rooted in the BBC’s public service values and we’re excited by the prospect of growing our team and supporting their creative ambitions,” he said. “We already deliver world-class content to everyone, from Radio 4 and BBC Sounds, to Audible and Spotify, and want to invest in more British audio IP.” 

While live listening continues to be popular, in May 2022 the BBC conducted an internal review of its speech audio production following a near 50% growth in the global podcast market in five years. The review found that the BBC is on the right track with its content production for audiences in the UK and will now attempt to broaden its geographical reach as a result. The public broadcaster says that there will be no wholesale changes to content production, but have a plan to move selected programming from factual, entertainment and drama departments from the in-house BBC team to BBC Studios.

BBC Studios already make much of Radio 4’s comedy output, such as The Infinite Monkey CageJust A Minute, and The News Quiz, as well as factual and TV companion podcasts for the BBC including The Strictly Come Dancing podcast, and Inside Inside No 9. The BBC Studios audio teams also create distinctive audio content with global appeal for a range of platforms internationally, including Audible and Spotify. 

Charlotte Moore, BBC chief content officer, said: “Our plan allows the BBC to benefit from the fast-growing global audio market, enabling our distinctive audio content to reach wider audiences, open up more creative opportunities and bring more investment back into the BBC. We’ve seen how world-class BBC programming that’s hugely popular with our UK audiences can go on to do great things with BBC Studios’ backing, so I’m excited to see what can be achieved by this plan, helping to put British podcasting on a global stage.”