MPs call for Ofcom review of BBC Sounds app’s new 24/7 dance music channel over concerns broadcaster is trying to compete with commercial radio and streaming services
- BBC Sounds will deliver a mixture of specialist shows and archive guest mixes
- Beeb claims it will give young audiences flexibility to listen to their fave content
- But Andy Carter MP not convinced Radio 1 Dance serves any public service remit
MPs have called on media regulator OfCom to formally investigate the BBC’s Sounds app over concerns the broadcaster is trying to compete with commercial radio and streaming services.
Their apprehension comes after the BBC announced it was launching a new 24/7 dance app which would focus on streaming all of their shows in one place.
Radio 1 Dance will bring together Radio 1’s slate of existing dance programmes into a dedicated stream on BBC Sounds, giving audiences more flexibility to listen to their favourite BBC content.
The BBC announced it was launching a new 24/7 dance app which would focus on streaming all of their shows in one place
Announcing the service the Beeb says it will ‘give young audiences even more flexibility to listen to their favourite BBC content outside of the more traditional linear schedules’.
Launching the service, Head Of Radio 1 Aled Haydn Jones said: ‘This is a historic moment for Radio 1.
‘Though the station’s world-leading influence in the dance music scene has spanned decades, we’re now able to stream all of our brilliant shows in one place on BBC Sounds.
‘Radio 1 Dance will be the perfect accompaniment to Radio 1, offering something for everyone, from die-hard dance fans to those simply looking to inject some more energy into their day’.
Pete Tong whose show will play a big role in the service added: ‘This is a huge moment for the dance scene and I’m really excited that my Radio 1 show will be providing the soundtrack to drivetime on Radio 1 Dance.
‘I look forward to even more people getting to join us to hear the very best in dance and electronica every Monday to Thursday on the new stream’.
Andy Carter MP (pictured) has raised concerns that bosses at the Corporation are competing with the commercial sector
But Andy Carter MP, the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group On Commercial Radio. which supports commercial radio, has raised concerns that bosses at the Corporation are competing with the commercial sector.
‘It’s imperative for the future of the BBC that it provides high quality, distinctive content that warrants its significant licence fee income: said Mr Carter.
‘I am concerned about the serious lack of transparency and scrutiny of the BBC Sounds platform.
‘New services like Radio 1 Dance do not appear to meet the important public value tests that the BBC must observe.
‘I hope OfCom will conduct a thorough review of BBC Sounds as a matter of urgency’.
Mr Carter’s comments have been welcomed by Siobhan Kenny, who heads the commercial radio repping trade group Radiocentre.
Pete Tong whose show will play a big role in the service said he is excited that his Radio 1 show will be providing the soundtrack to drivetime on Radio 1 Dance.
‘We were encouraged to hear new Director General Tim Davie emphasise that distinctiveness and true public service value should be at the heart of all BBC content’, said Ms Kenny.
‘It is disappointing therefore to see this announcement of a new 24 hour dance stream’.
‘It is really difficult to understand what qualifies as distinctive in this offering. Commercial radio has a rich catalogue in this area and is very popular with audiences’.
She concluded: ‘We know the BBC is struggling to attract younger audiences but launching in competition to existing, UK-based providers, who rely on advertising revenue rather than public funding, is really not the way ahead.
We agree that it is time for an urgent review’.
A BBC spokesperson said: ‘We want to make it easy for new and existing audiences to enjoy high quality, distinctive content like our dance programmes on BBC Sounds. We’ve always been open about our plans as well as had relevant approvals from Ofcom as part of the normal process.’