Global is no longer directing listeners for one of its brands to the industry-standard Radioplayer platform.
Instead, the UK’s biggest commercial radio group is favouring its own Global Player service on the Gold website.
RadioToday understands this is a recent move and the rest of Global’s brands including Heart, Classic, Capital and LBC will follow in the future.
Radioplayer is used by over 400 stations across the UK, including those owned by Global, Bauer, News UK, Communicorp and the BBC, and more than 6 million people every month. It is designed to allow listeners to enter the platform from any paid-up member station, then browse to other shows and services.
Bauer made the decision to not send its listeners to Radioplayer when the service launched in 2011, and the BBC is now offering BBC Sounds as its primary player instead.
But Radioplayer tells us that the move is fine because there are now other areas which require focus, such as in-car listening.
A Global spokesperson told RadioToday: “RadioPlayer is a multiplatform product and we are fully committed to them as a major distribution partner on an ongoing basis. Alongside this, we continue to invest in our own products such as Global Player.”
Global promotes the Global Player, which provides more brand extensions such as Radio X 90s, Smooth Country and Heart 70s, in every news intro on every brand.
We asked Radioplayer about the move, and got received statement:
“Global were founder members of Radioplayer when we launched in 2011, and they continue to be hugely supportive of what we do. Back then, many web players were hard to use and unreliable, so together we designed a player that would solve those problems, and we asked stations to use it as the primary player on their websites.
“Today, online listening is growing strongly, and there are other areas which require our focus, so we’ve relaxed our guidelines about this. The BBC now links to both the BBC Sounds player and Radioplayer on the web, and Global has decided to do the same. All their stations will continue to be available in Radioplayer, on all our platforms.
“Radioplayer’s always been able to adapt quickly to face new strategic challenges for radio, and our top priority today is to keep radio strong in the connected cars of the future. Global, the BBC, Bauer, Radiocentre, and our other stakeholders around the world are 100% behind us achieving that on behalf of the radio industry.”
The idea of a united radio industry seems to grow further away with every little decision taken by the biggest commercial radio groups. Radioplayer was meant to be a big step at unification, but Bauer never played ball.
Bauer has always been on the platform, but never directed its own listeners to it. So Bauer gained listeners from competitor stations without returning the favour.
Having all stations in one place, and used as the pop-up player by the biggest radio stations in the country, was one of the benefits for the smaller stations to part with their £100+ fee a year to be part of something beneficial. Now, with the BBC not offering it by default, and Global following soon, the promise of a united platform is fading away.