From old rockers to young blacks, BBC seeks wider radio audience

The BBC announced plans yesterday for five new digital radio services, which could yet be called Radios 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10.

The BBC announced plans yesterday for five new digital radio services, which could yet be called Radios 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10.

The services, which will go on air next year, will cater for ageing rock fans, black and Asian youth, and sports fans. And for aficionados of the spoken word there will be a new service that will draw on some of the best-loved dramas and comedies from the archives,as well as unabridged book readings.

Underlying the new stations is a determination by the BBC to do more for ethnic minorities. Allied to this is the growing realisation that the BBC archives contain a wealth of material, not least early performances by classic rock bands.

Jenny Abramsky, director of BBC Radio, said the names of the news stations had not yet been decided. In addition to the five stations - three brand new, two enhanced versions of Radio 5 Live and a current BBC Asian service - the World Service will be available on digital radio from next year.

The plans are significant, but depend on manufacturers bringing down the price of portable digital radios. So far they are rarely seen, and cost several hundred pounds.

Ms Abramsky said she was confident new versions would be on the market next year. The new BBC services were also aimed at people listening online, on satellite TV sets and on WAP mobile phones.

The channels are: a new urban black music radio station; a service featuring classic album tracks and archive material for the post-Beatles generation; a speech service with drama and comedy and material for children; an enhanced Radio 5 Live with extra sports; and a national BBC Asiannetwork.

The BBC expects to launch the first of these by spring of next year. Each of the others will follow with a launch every three months. All the stations depend on approval from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

Champions of digital radio say the technology can already be heard on TV sets via satellite and over the internet so should work on mobile phones. Experts say digital radio in all its forms will reach 30 per cent of the population by 2006.

Ms Abramsky said: "We want to champion UK-produced black music the way The Dreem Teem are doing on Radio 1 on Sundays."

Development of the black station will be headed by Andy Parfitt, head of Radio 1. Jim Moir, Radio 2's controller, will look after the album track station and Helen Boaden, head of Radio 4, the speech service.

The services will cost £15m a year with a further £5m a year for the associated online services. The cash came from the last licence fee settlement rather than from budget savings, Ms Abramsky said.

"For the next 10 years the vast majority of listening will still be through AM and FM sets, but radio is going to be consumed in umpteen different ways in the same way television is."

Although the services will cost just a fraction of the present network to produce, Ms Abramsky said they would not be "second-class citizens" compared with the existing network of Radios 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Live and the World Service. Costs would be reduced through using existing resources such as the archives. She added: "We're going to make considerable use of talent already within the BBC. I think what we're going to do is high quality."

The proposed new channels

Classic rock

Rock from the archives. This will raid BBC archives for performances by, and interviews with, legendary groups and solo artists, including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who, David Bowie and the Doors. It will, the BBC promises, not feature techno, rap or dance forms.

Asian network

A national BBC Asian network, which will build on an existing service operated by BBC Leicester. As a national digital station, it will serve Asian communities throughout the country with speech and music. It will also have newsgathering capability.

Live sports+

This is an enhancement of the existing Radio 5 Live. Transformed to a digital service, it will bring added value by extending the range of sports offered. Wimbledon coverage, for example, would offer commentary from more than one court.

Spoken word

A service built on Radio 4's tradition - with the emphasis on family listening - offering drama, comedy and readings. It will include children's programming, but there will not be a separate digital children's service. A mix of original programming and archive material.

Urban black music

A black music, news and speech service aimed at young people, focused on contemporary urban music. It will support new black performers and champion black music made in Britain. Live events and club nights, and discussion of social issues, will be featured.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
video
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Extras
indybest
News
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been the teaching profession's favourite teacher
education
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
sport
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sport
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Sport
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Campaign Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading marketing agency is currently ...

BI Analyst

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading marketing agency in Central Lo...

DBA

£40000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: DBA, London,...

Web / Digital Analyst - SiteCatalyst or Google Analytics

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client who are a leading publisher in...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform