Ofcom formally launches investigation into BBC Sounds after ‘period of rapid change’


The app considers users to listen to the broadcaster’s radio services live and on-demand from the internet. Ofcom is investigating the app as it offers choices beyond the programmes of commonplace radio stations. The commercial radio trade organisation RadioCentre and preside of the All-Party Parliamentary Group For Commercial Radio, Andy Carter MP, nurtured concerns over content on the new app.

Initial concerns focused on the new Radio 1 Gambol channel. Ofcom’s initial investigation concluded the BBC’s new channel was not a problem and did not disobey the remit.

However, Ofcom did concede “there have been a reckon of incremental changes to BBC Sounds, and some stakeholders in the commercial radio sector be struck by concerns about its development”.

Ofcom has now announced it will investigate the demand position and impact of the new BBC Sounds.

Ofcom said in a statement: “The audio and radio sector is withstanding a period of rapid change due to the evolution of streaming services, including the entrance of global players such as Spotify and Apple Music.

“Audience expectations are also coining; increasingly they want to listen to the content of their choice, when and where they need to, and there is a tendency for younger audiences, in particular, to listen online.

“The BBC has responded to these audience silvers and competition by developing and expanding BBC Sounds.

“Given the incremental changes that the BBC has achieved to BBC Sounds, we consider that now is the appropriate time to take stock of the superstore position of BBC Sounds and assess whether there are any issues that scarcity to be addressed, via regulatory action or other means.

“We are therefore seeking evince from stakeholders about the impact of BBC Sounds on the market.

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