RadioCentre has welcomed the move by Ofcom to simplify music Formats, but says it would like to have seen the changes go further.
Matt Payton, Director of External Affairs for Radiocentre said: “The changes announced by Ofcom are a step in the right direction. They go some way to recognising the dramatic shifts in music consumption over the last few years and expansion of consumer choice. But in a digital age where consumers have access to a huge variety of music content at their fingertips, the concept of music formats being set by a regulator is clearly outdated.
“Ultimately radio stations need to be as free as possible to choose the music they play, so that they can react to the needs of listeners. At least Ofcom now appears to recognise this – even acknowledging the case for a change in legislation to provide greater flexibility”.
Currently different commercial radio stations are required to provide a certain proportion of speech or music of a particular genre (such as contemporary chart, rock or rhythmic based) in order to comply with their station format as set out by Ofcom.
Under the changes announced today the way in which mainstream popular music stations are described will be simplified and the number of different will be categories reduced. In addition specialist music stations will have the option of simplifying their format descriptions into broader headings where the core character of the service remains the same.
According to research commissioned by Radiocentre from Ipsos MORI, Ofcom’s terminology does not resonate with the majority commercial radio listeners. The way they perceive or describe music is very different to Ofcom’s classifications.
- Only 1 in 3 (33%) could correctly identify the format description of the station they listen to when asked to select one option from Ofcom’s format list.
- 72% use none of the main terms used by Ofcom when describing music on a station they listen to in their own words.
- Less than 5% of commercial radio listeners think it should be Ofcom that determine the types of music a radio station plays.
You can see RadioCentre’ response in full here.