The UK Radio Player - the launch of a new era
It's brand new: it launches today, and we've the full links
It's been designed to be really simple to use, but more importantly, consistent whether you're listening to Juice 107.2 from Brighton, or the national BBC Radio 1. The streams all work the same way; the play button and the volume control all works the same way, and everything is in the same place. Sounds simple, but until now, listening to radio online has been a pretty unpleasant experience of inconsistent interfaces.
The real killer is the searches. Chuck in your postcode - HD1 1JB for an example in Yorkshire - and you'll find radio stations that you'll know and love, that broadcast to your area. Put the name of a presenter, and find out where they're broadcasting - and whether you can listen now or later. Or even, enter an interest of yours, and find great radio. You can even store presets. It's great for trial and discovery of new radio programmes or stations.
And the important thing is that radio station websites are all linking to this one player. Try BBC Radio 1 or Absolute Radio as two examples.
Today, media consumption isn't just about great content: it's about great user interface. The Radio Player is simple, straightforward, and works brilliantly. It's a shining example of "Agree on technology, compete on content".
As Debbie Haigh from the UK's Radio Advertising Bureau recently said: "Where I saw Programme Directors not wanting to even share station demographic information with their competitors in Athens, I couldn’t help but appreciate the advances the UK market have made for the good of radio and the industry". Everyone in radio will win if radio continues to be strong and successful.
If you'd like to see a full overview of the stations using it, we have links to every radio station on the platform, at http://www.mediauk.com/radio/platforms/radioplayer.
Disclosure: I helped kick off the Radio Player work within the BBC, and worked on initial specifications with the RadioCentre.
James Cridland is the Managing Director of Media UK, and a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business.
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