Radiocentre to cover podcasts and on-demand services within commercial radio

Industry body’s new action plan highlights shift to digital audio

Commercial radio industry body Radiocentre has announced that it is expanding its remit to encompass all broadcaster-owned and operated audio, including podcasts and on-demand services, as part of a shift to reflect the changing audio industry.

The announcement was revealed in Radiocentre’s latest action plan with recommendations for the commercial radio sector, titled ‘Commercial radio: Stronger than ever’. Previously, Radiocentre restricted its focus to traditional linear radio. 

The addition of digital formats like podcasting is part of the industry body’s commitment to representing the industry and embracing change in order to remain a “powerful and credible voice” in commercial radio. 

“Over the years there have been huge advances in technology, as well as big changes in listening habits,” said Radiocentre CEO Matt Payton. “A vast range and choice of radio and audio services is now available across all listening platforms, with podcasts and on-demand audio complementing traditional linear radio services.”

“This creates fantastic opportunities with both a broader range of choice for listeners and an even more compelling offer to advertisers.”

The plan also highlighted that while podcasts and on-demand audio are important areas of growth, they complement live radio rather than replace it, each fulfilling different needs. According to Radiocentre, live radio is driven by the need to feel energised or uplifted and more connected to the world, while listening to podcasts is driven by the desire to learn new things and understand different subjects more deeply. 

In order to adapt to changing listening and consumer behaviours, Radiocentre aims to work in partnership with government, regulators and advertisers on the expansion of online listening apps for digital users such as Global Player and Bauer’s Rayo app. 

Radiocentre’s new action plan coincides with the 50 year anniversary of the commercial radio sector in the UK. Other new announcements from the industry body include a brand refresh with a new logo, typographic voice, colour approach and motion principles, overseen by creative agency Fold 7. The new visual identity reflects the audio industry’s increasing digital capabilities. 

With the increase of digital audio consumption, a number of broadcasting outlets have been investing more into podcasts and on-demand. One example is the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) which recently introduced a five year plan that moves the platform away from traditional broadcasting and into podcasts and on-demand radio by investing more into its digital products - ABC News, ABC iview, and ABC Listen.