BBC offers first details about future personalized radio service

BBC personalized radio

Earlier this week, the BBC released its plans for adapting its services to support digital and online media platforms. The report was mostly about the big picture plans, but a new blog post goes into some detail about the vision for a new radio experience. Mark Friend, interactive controller for BBC Radio and Music, explained the goal of letting every listener have their own personalized radio station. He said the final product would include a blend of live and on-demand audio, and would allow time for news, sports, travel, and weather updates. “This will be based on understanding what you normally listen to, what you like, what you don’t like and linking this to factors such as time, location and what device you’re listening on,” he said.

Friend didn’t lay out the technical details of how a listener will convey preferences to the tool, but we’ve seen this type of recommendation-driven radio before. The NPR One app took a similar approach, offering a selection of programming clips and then getting the listener’s input to hone in on a personalized content stream.

We’re still curious to hear more details about the on-demand streaming side of the BBC’s vision for the future. Hopefully that information will be forthcoming sooner than it takes to implement the radio changes; Friend reminded BBC listeners that the new service would take time to come to fruition.

Anna Washenko