Listeners will be able to stream or download on demand shows on their way to work.
Ben Cooper, the controller of Radio 1 and Radio 1 Xtra referred to this “phone-first” strategy as “a huge step-change in terms of a radio station’s thinking and attitude.” Cooper believes that the station should have “curated on-demand programming on a par with live on-air programming.”
The new scheme is set launch sometime in the autumn, with programs including “new music Friday” and the most played specialist songs of the week, available on demand.
“The reason I am doing this is because of what I see happening in the TV industry with Netflix,” Cooper told the Guardian. “Netflix are investing something like $30m an episode in [the Queen Elizabeth II historical drama] The Crown. On House of Cards they spent perhaps $6m an episode. If you look at that and have a choice of giving yourself an hour of TV, what are you going to choose? You are going to choose the one that looks the best and has the biggest stars and money invested in it. I think the same is happening with audio.”
He also referred to competition from Spotify and Apple, who Cooper believes are “trying to take our crown of being the place to discover new music.” He explained that as a radio station, “we have to think phone first. The globalisation of media and the amount you can invest in an hour of content, I think that is coming to audio next.”