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BBC extends podcast trial

The next stage of the BBC’s downloading and podcasting trial will include experiments with hourly news bulletins, Woman’s Hour podcasts and audio highlights from BBC TWO’s Newsnight.

Twenty-nine more radio programmes and highlights packages will join the trial – which allows listeners to download shows and subscribe to regular podcasts ? later this month.

They include an hourly news summary from the BBC World Service and Jeremy Paxman’s first podcasting venture in a weekly, audio-only download featuring the pick of the interviews from Newsnight.

The strong news line-up is complemented by a collection of flagship BBC Radio 4 programmes, with podcasts from Woman’s Hour, Start the Week, Broadcasting House, Today in Parliament and Front Row amongst others.

Woman’s Hour – in its 60th year on air – will offer a daily download featuring the top item from the morning’s programme.

Front Row will podcast a key interview each week, while Broadcasting House and Start The Week will be available to download in their entirety once a week.

BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra contribute weekly podcasts featuring the pick of interviews, gossip (Chart Chat with JK & Joel), news entertainment (Radio 1 Entertainment News) and unsigned music in the shape of Best of Unsigned (Radio 1) and 100% Homegrown Mix (1Xtra), while Scott Mills joins station-mate Chris Moyles with a daily, speech-only package.

BBC Radio 3 joins the trial with Discovering Music and a weekly speech highlights package.

New additions from BBC Radio Five Live include highlights of football debate throughout the week from 606 and daily highlights from Simon Mayo in Daily Mayo.

From BBC Nations and Regions, BBC Radio Cymru offers the BBC’s first Welsh-language podcast and BBC Radio Wales’ All Things Considered gives a weekly insight into religion and spirituality.

There is also space for one-off, ad hoc programming throughout the trial.

Jeff Randall’s interview with Rupert Murdoch for Five Live’s Weekend Business programme was the first download to be offered in this slot.

All of the programmes will be available as downloads and podcasts at bbc.co.uk/radio from February until June.

There are plans to bring the total number of programmes in the trial to 50, with more programmes to be added to the trial once confirmed.

Simon Nelson, Controller of BBC Radio & Music Interactivr, said: “In extending the trial, we’re offering some of BBC Radio’s most distinctive programming and a broad range of shows to cater to most tastes.

“The feedback we get from the trial is helping to inform our strategy for ‘audio on demand’, giving listeners the control they are becoming increasingly used to in the digital world.

“Downloading and podcasting are potentially fantastic ways for us to make our on demand programmes as accessible as live radio always has been.”

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