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Radio, music, podcasts ‐ BBC Sounds: Public service radio and podcasts in a platform world

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In 2018, the BBC announced plans to replace their long-established ‘iPlayer Radio’ service with a new platform called BBC Sounds. The new service was promoted as a single space where listeners can consume BBC radio, music and podcasts, creating a single point of interaction between audiences and content. This is, however, far more than an exercise in reframing public service radio content in a new app; it is also a practical application of these policies through the commissioning of content made for online, specifically, younger, audiences. This shift happens not only at a time where traditional broadcasters are exploring ways to re-engage younger listeners but as commentators search for the ‘Netflix of Podcasts’ This article explores the manner in which the BBC Sounds project is a response to current trends in the radio industry and to which it recognizes podcasting as an audio medium that is distinct from but institutionally connected to radio.
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Keywords: BBC; music; platforms; podcasting; radio; soundwork

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000105559901University of Sunderland

Publication date: April 1, 2020

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  • The Radio Journal is committed to high-quality, diverse research in the arena of radio and sound media, from broadcast to podcast and all in between. We look for articles that explore the production, circulation and reception of radio and creative soundwork, addressing historical and contemporary issues in sound-based journalism and media studies from a wide range of national and transnational perspectives.
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