NEWS: ANALYST REPORT CRITICISES UK COMMERCIAL RADIO SECTOR FOR BEING "IN A CREATIVE MALAISE" by GRANT GODDARD

www.grantgoddard.co.uk October 2005

A new media analyst report has criticised commercial radio for being “in a creative malaise” and argued that the industry’s traditional connections to local audiences “have been frayed by the growing uniformity of formats and programming fostered by consolidation”. The document, 'UK Commercial Radio' by Enders Analysis, noted that industry consolidation to date has only led to “stations with different ownership in the same market moving closer in format design” which will simply “add further impetus to the commercial sector’s decline relative to the BBC as it drifts away from its local roots”. It cited the growing evidence that commercial radio has “fundamental positioning issues” relative to BBC Radio. The report dismissed the generally held belief that radio industry consolidation will continue apace in the wake of the Capital/GWR merger and argues instead that the industry is “full of sellers rather than buyers”. Enders believes that “it is the BBC and not commercial radio that is optimally placed to benefit from the coming digital age” and concludes that the commercial radio industry “has simply backed the wrong horses” in anticipating that DAB, cable and BSkyB will eventually provide its digital stations with commercial viability, because this “may never happen”. The paper predicts that a major US media group is unlikely to mount a takeover bid for an existing UK radio group, because of these fundamental structural faults in the commercial radio industry. Despite new licences advertised by Ofcom being hotly contested, the report expects these new stations to have “no material impact” on commercial radio’s declining listening share because “the thirty new licences awarded by the Radio Authority and Ofcom since 2000 have entirely failed to add to total commercial listening.”

[First published in 'The Radio Magazine' as 'Report Condemns "Creative Malaise" Of Commercial Radio', #705, 12 October 2005]

Grant Goddard is a media analyst / radio specialist / radio consultant with thirty years of experience in the broadcasting industry, having held senior management and consultancy roles within the commercial media sector in the United Kingdom, Europe and Asia. Details at http://www.grantgoddard.co.uk

News: Analyst Report Criticises UK Commercial Radio Sector For Being "In A Creative Malaise" ©2005 Grant Goddard

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