Friday, October 10, 2008
Four Pulls All Radio Plans
The UK's Channel 4 has scrapped plans to launch three DAB/online radio stations - music and entertainment station E4 Radio, speech station Channel 4 Radio, and music station Pure4. Doing so will yield 10 million of a total of 100 million pounds it needs to save to stay around. 15 jobs will go..although that doesn't seem a lot of people to make high quality radio channels. I guess all the content would have been commissioned, so this news is really bad news for the UK independent radio production sector.
That will make it a lot more difficult for the fellow shareholders in 4 Digital Group, which has announced plans to roll out the second UK national commercial digital radio multiplex.
The future expansion of commercial-funded DAB digital radio in the UK has already been clouded with the closure of a number of stations by GCap Media, citing high distribution costs. According to today's Media Guardian, commercial radio groups have been reluctant to invest further in the platform because, despite encouraging takeup of digital audio broadcasting (DAB) radio sets, they have been unable to make it pay.
The big problem with radio remains its inability to tag interesting content or to send a great bit of radio to a friend. Yes, there are groups working on solutions, but meanwhile the commercial side of the biz is in trouble.