No Ofcom public interest test for BBC Radio 1 Relax service

Ofcom will not carry out a public interest test against BBC Radio 1 Relax saying the stream has significantly lower usage than predicted.

The regulator says the impact on competitors’ services is likely to be low, particularly as the uptake of the Radio 1 Relax stream has been modest.

After looking at the number of people streaming Radio 1 Relax, Ofcom said in a letter to the BBC and Radiocentre, that the data shows the amount of Radio 1 Relax accounts are higher than forecast, but usage is significantly lower than predicted.

Ofcom said: “The stream’s average weekly listening hours are currently much smaller than the average weekly listening hours for the three largest commercial ‘chill’ stations for which we have listening data (Magic Chilled, Smooth Chill and Virgin Chilled), making up only around 1-2% of their total combined weekly listening hours.

“In this case, we agree with the BBC’s determination that the proposed Radio 1 Relax stream does not constitute a material change. We consider that the impact on competitors’ services is likely to be low, particularly given that the uptake of the Radio 1 Relax stream has been modest and that we do not consider it is likely to grow substantially in the future.

“We will not, therefore, require the BBC to conduct a public interest test.”

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Posted on Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021 at 12:15 pm by Duty Reporter

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