Digital to Drive Radio Expansion
Digital radio is likely to boost total UK radio listening figures by 10% over five years, according to research unveiled at a joint seminar hosted by the Radio Advertising Bureau and BBC.
    Growth will be driven by technology enhancements and greater choice for listeners. Other stimuli such as radio-receiving mobile phones and rewind radio are expansion factors.
    Says RAB client services director Michael O'Brien: "Digital radio is providing more for both the listener and the advertiser. There is no doubt that this will help the medium to continue to grow. This is a very exciting time for radio, both the commercial sector and the BBC."
    Commercial radio recorded a 7.5% rise in ad revenues during Q1 2004, with revenues totalling £150.9 million ($276.77m; €229.87m).

Community Radio Licence Plans Unveiled
    A raft of new community radio licences is planned by the government. The move will facilitate groups of radio stations run by and for local communities and funded by sponsorship and advertising, Parliament learned earlier this week.
    Following enactment of the mooted legislation, broadcast media regulator Ofcom will advertise the licences. According to secretary of state for culture, media and sport Tessa Jowell, "community radio promises to be the most important new cultural development in the UK for many years".

Pop Duo to Launch Fourth UK-Wide Commercial Station
    Seventies progressive rock star Rick Wakeman and 'swinging sixties' pop idol Gene Pitney Britain's are among the backers of a fourth national commercial radio station, planned for launch in 2005 if a £13 million ($23.84m; €19.80m) subscription offer is successful.
    The Isle of Man International Broadcasting Company has been granted a licence to launch a new national station targeting female listeners in the 25- to 55-year-old age group. Its ultimate intention is to float the company on the Alternative Investment Market.

Data sourced from multiple origins; additional content by WARC staff