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Australia: don't link to our stuff; UK says bye to local breakfast

March 4, 2019 · 4 minutes to read

You can’t link to that! Call the police!

Well, quite.

If content is king, distribution is queen. If you really don’t want people linking to your ad-funded stuff, it’s relatively easy to protect those streams, rather than misguidedly attempting to change the law.

The UK cuts out local radio

To put this in context: Global made £25m in profit last year, and sales revenue is growing. Unlike many parts of the North American radio business, this is not being driven by impending (or actual) bankruptcy; rather, as Phil Riley explains, a requirement to invest in marketing and grow the business. This frees up money for marketing - £10m of it perhaps - but also (and just as importantly) means that the marketing can actually promote a consistent product and personality. The UK’s media market is a national one, not local.

Listeners to Capital, Heart and Smooth will still hear local news and weather, pointless traffic reports, and local advertising. In fact, many of these stations have already been taking a lot of national content anyway (typically they had local breakfast and afternoon drive, and national everything else). The data suggests that listeners will not tune away. (Indeed, perhaps the contrary).

And, lest we forget, the UK is very small - the size of the states of Oregon or Victoria. You can’t drive in a straight line in the UK for more than 6 hours without falling off. “National” radio, which might not work in the totality of the US, probably would work at a state-wide scale.

As Adam Bowie says, there’s lots of change for UK commercial radio here. Bauer could make similar changes, too, and they could well be more severe. I gather Global are being good to their people (as much as is possible under the circumstances).

It’s been the subject of a lot of news in the UK - here’s The Media Show on BBC Radio 4 covering it; I was on Rhod Sharpe’s “Up All Night”; and Dirk Anthony is a cool, calm and sensible voice on the RadioToday Programme.

BBC Local Radio? This is an opportunity for you to get better talent, and focus on your local area.

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