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BBC Sounds and the search for the Netflix of Podcasts - Models of listening to radio and podcasts in a platform world

Berry, Richard (2019) BBC Sounds and the search for the Netflix of Podcasts - Models of listening to radio and podcasts in a platform world. In: ECREA Radio Research Conference (September 19-21) Siena, Italy, September 19-21 2019, University of Siena. (Unpublished)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


In 2018 the BBC abandoned their long-established iPlayer service for a new platform called BBC Sounds. The new app was promoted as a single space where listeners can consume BBC radio, music, and podcasts; creating a single point of interaction between audiences and content. At its launch, Director General Lord Hall suggested that “BBC Sounds is a standalone and standout destination, bringing the best of everything we do in audio into one place. It allows us all to experiment to explore new music, stories and ideas to play with form and content. And it’s going to support a whole new generation of talent.” This was, though, far more than an exercise in reframing public service radio content in a new app. The BBC also reversed previous policy on the podcast space and began to create content not only for exclusive podcast distribution but also for the app itself. This action happens not only at a time where traditional broadcasters are exploring ways to re-engage
younger listeners but as commentators search for the ‘Netflix of Podcasts’. Just as the radio dial marked the 20th Century listening experience, the smartphone app
marks the 21st (Morris and Patterson, 2015), and apps such as BBC Sounds, Radio Public and other curation platforms seek to address the inherent problems of 21st
Century listening and perhaps point to new models of audio consumption. This paper uses BBC Sounds as a discursive tool in exploring the challenges of finding and defining audio in the platform age.

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Depositing User: Richard Berry


Item ID: 11219

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Date Deposited: 29 May 2020 10:05
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2020 11:01


Author: Richard Berry ORCID iD

University Divisions

Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries
Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries > School of Media and Communications


Media > Media and Cultural Studies
Media > Radio

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