The BBC Trust, governing body for the BBC, recently provided guidance on what content the organization’s radio stations can put online prior to the actual broadcasts. Based on the new rules, the BBC can put speech-based programs online up to one week ahead of their air time. However, music radio programs will not be allowed to appear online first.
“As more people go online for news and sport, the BBC must make sure it’s continuing to provide what they want, so we’ve approved some changes to help with this and we’ll expect the stations to continue to develop what they’re offering online,” BBC Trustee Elan Closs Stephens said.
The Trust conducted a review of Radio 4 and 5live to decide on the guidelines for online programming. Before adopting these rules, BBC radio was not allowed to have any content online before air time. The rules will apply to all BBC radio stations, although the Trust said it expected Radio 4 to be the main user of this added online flexibility.
Leaders at the BBC have spoken previously about the need to adopt new technologies in order to best serve and retain its listeners. The BBC saw a drop in listening hours in the final quarter of 2014, but RAJAR data for the first quarter of 2015 saw increased digital radio uptake across the UK.