King’s Speech includes welcome support for radio industry

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New measures to support UK radio on smart speakers have been welcomed by the radio industry following the announcement of a new Media Bill in the King’s Speech today (7 November).

The King’s Speech

The King’s Speech, the first to be given by King Charles since his coronation, sets out the government’s programme and legislative agenda for the final parliamentary session ahead of the next general election.

Following the publication of a draft Media Bill in March this year, which included measures to support radio on voice-activated devices, the Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee conducted pre-legislative scrutiny of the legislation.

In its report on radio in July, the influential committee of cross-party MPs recognised the important role of the sector and strongly endorsed measures to support the future of radio.

The Media Bill also includes clauses that tie up elements of commercial radio deregulation, which were announced originally by the government in 2017.

These will update requirements around outdated music formats, local production rules and local news on digital platforms.

Radiocentre‘s CEO Matt Payton said: “We are delighted that the King’s Speech has confirmed the government’s intention to proceed with the Media Bill.

“Radio listening is stronger than ever, but the way people listen continues to change and shift to online platforms like smart speakers.

“The measures on radio in the Media Bill reflect this change and will help secure the future of the UK’s world-beating radio content, along with the value it provides to audiences.

“We now urge the government to commence the parliamentary process for the Media Bill at the earliest opportunity so that these new powers can become law.”

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said: “Radio is hugely popular in the UK, serving up the soundtrack to the lives of millions every day.

“As modern technology changes how people tune in, we must ensure stations have the right support in place to keep listeners entertained and informed.

“As set out in the King’s Speech today, our Media Bill will maximise the potential of the booming success of British radio by requiring the most popular smart speaker platforms to ensure easy access to listeners’ favourite stations, and ripping up decades-old red tape holding back commercial stations.”