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BBC Radio eyes threat from streaming giants

BBC Director of Radio and Music Bob Shennan has suggested that streaming giants now pose the greatest competition to BBC Radio.

In a speech at this week's Radio Festival, he said foreign streaming giants have now "set their sights on radio".

Shennan told the Radio Festival: 
“Whereas in years gone by my predecessors would today be eyeballing their competition across the UK Radio sector, our competition isn't even based on this island. The new competitive set is global. Streaming services are the new best friend to music. They have transformed the financial fortunes of a sector that was on its knees. But they have set their sights on radio.”

Responding to the threat, he added:
“That’s why we’re reinventing and growing BBC Radio. ... I believe BBC Radio – in fact all UK Radio – plays an even more important role in the lives of our audiences and in ensuring the wellbeing of popular and classical music."

As part of the change, the BBC will make changes to its iPlayer Radio app and website later this year to make discovery of speech and music content easier for audiences, with improvements in on-demand speech offerings to come.