Following trails held in Birmingham earlier this year, UBC Media are expected to announce details of the consumer launch their new digital music download service.
The service will allow digital radio listeners to buy music directly from radio stations, creating new revenue streams for commercial radio.
A full-scale launch will be unveiled with its interim results, which are due on November 27.
This week sees the launch of the Virgin 'Lobster' mobile phone with integrated digital radio. UBC is in discussions with Virgin about development of the music downloading service and about the mobile operator providing billing services. Further details of these arrangements will be provided with the Interim Results.
As digital radio both here and in the USA continues to grow rapidly, the Company is seeing significant growth in its digital radio software division. This growth is compensating for the weak state of the current UK radio advertising market.
This was also a period of investment and development in UBC's Network Programme business as the Company builds its recently announced news service in partnership with BSkyB. In common with the rest of the commercial radio industry, UBC's network programme division experienced a difficult start to the new financial year and, although there has been a continuing recovery in the advertising market in the second quarter, revenues in the six months to 30 September 2006 are expected to be marginally behind those for the same period last year which covered a period of dramatic growth. The recovery over the last three months, however, gives us confidence in this business for the balance of the year.
UBC's Classic Gold network of radio stations is expected to show a small rise in revenues over the same period last year and the Company's production and facilities division will show a small drop in turnover but an improved margin, resulting from the closure of a low margin studio unit.
The Board is satisfied with the performance of the Company, which is in line with expectations, and we believe the prospects for the remainder of the year are positive.