Tuesday, October 19 2010,
BroadcastingRadioplayer, the new online platform bringing together all of the BBC and commercial radio stations in the UK, will officially launch in December, it has been announced.
The service, which was first unveiled last winter, will feature a pop-up console for streaming around 400 national, local and community radio stations on a specially-designed platform.
Today, the radio industry was given its first demonstration of the new player at the annual Radio Festival in Salford.
Andrew Harrison, chairman of Radioplayer and chief executive of RadioCentre, confirmed that the service will begin a phased rollout in December, with 50 stations initially available.
The rollout will continue towards a full commercial launch in February 2011, when there will be at least 200 stations on offer, including every Ofcom-regulated network in the UK.
An extensive online marketing campaign will support the consumer launch, and the Radioplayer backers - the BBC, Global Radio, GMG Radio, RadioCentre and Absolute - believe that there will be huge demand for the service.
As 4.7m people listen to the radio online every month, the backers expect that Radioplayer will be "a multi-million user product from the moment it launches to consumers".
The backers also confirmed that the annual licence fee for each member to appear on the Radioplayer will be set "relative to station size".
In a statement, Harrison said: "Radioplayer will create significant opportunities for the commercial radio sector, expanding the scope and availability of services and providing an excellent simple online platform, alongside DAB, for audiences and advertisers to discover more digital radio."
Michael Hill, managing director of Radioplayer UK, said: "We are delighted to be able to unveil Radioplayer to our radio industry colleagues today, and show them just how simple and intuitive listening online is with Radioplayer. This is a defining moment for UK radio and we hope all broadcast stations, of all sizes and types, will participate."
BBC Audio and Music director Tim Davie, who also attended the Radioplayer launch, added: "Radioplayer will deliver a simple, quality experience for users and provide a coherent online presence for UK radio stations. It is a result of genuine collaboration across the industry and is the sort of innovation we need to make digital radio a reality."
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