Post Production at BBC Radio

Ever since it was founded in 1922, BBC Radio has been one of the foremost leaders in broadcasting. John Reith, the founding managing director of the company, knew how important programming standards and a respectable moral tone were in the radio business, and to this day BBC Radio as well as stations around the world strive to follow his directive to inform, educate, and entertain (BBC, 2016).

Business Model

Today, BBC Radio is the largest international radio service, broadcasting in twenty-seven languages in countries across the world. Headquartered in London, England, Helen Boaden is the Director of Audio and Music, though the title has changed several times over the years (BBC, 2016). BBC Radio has over 1,300 employees working in its numerous different sub-divisions, stations, and radio shows (BBC, 2016). These assets are what make BBC Radio what it is today.


One of the biggest aspects of BBC Radio is its domestic and international broadcasts from its affiliate stations, which include BBC Radio 1 (youth-oriented Top 40 music), BBC Radio 2 (talk shows, adult contemporary music, and comedy), and BBC Local Radio, which brings local news to various parts of England, Scotland, and Ireland. BBC Radio also features international syndication, with programs such as “In Concert”, which features live recordings of classic rock shows, and “Classical”, showcasing classical and orchestral music. Among its most famous on-air personalities include Annie Mac, one of the most well respected radio DJs when it come to new electronic music (Annie Mac Presents, 2016), and Marth Kearney, presenter of “The World At One”, a lunchtime news and current affairs talk show. BBC Radio is also known worldwide for its hugely popular “BBC World Service”, which is one of the most highly regarded news services on the planet. This service, which is available through terrestrial, satellite, and internet radio, covers breaking news from around the world, and is known for its unbiased and ethical reporting. BBC World Service is free to the public, and makes all of its revenue from ad placements. By remaining totally free, BBC Radio is able to uphold its oldest ethos of being informative, educational, and entertaining.

Annie Mac of “Annie Mac Presents”

Revenue Stream

Along with owning many of the domestic radio stations in the UK, BBC Radio also has partnerships with Sirius Satellite Radio and British Airways (The Guardian, 2015). With these partnerships, the company is able to offer subscription based services, in which users pay a monthly fee to access content. This is paid to them by Sirius XM from a small percentage of their own monthly subscription fees. BBC Radio also offers in-flight programming on British Airways flights – another ingenious way in which the company generates revenue. With these subscription services, BBC Radio has been able to expand to numerous new markets in varying countries including India, the United States, and Canada. In fact, the company has been so successful in India that Tony Hall, BBC’s Director General said that they will see a $1.86 billion commercial return over the next five years, which is more than 15% higher than the returns of the previous five years (The Guardian, 2015). To put this in perspective, in 2010, the total commercial revenue generated by BBC Radio was about $1.1 billion, and total spending was around $700 million. National Advertising campaigns are responsible for the majority of BBC Radio’s income, increasing 4.4% in 2009. Local advertising has been stabilized at about $150 million since 2009, however sponsorship revenue has been steadily decreasing since this time as well. To break down these figures even further, we can look at exactly what stations and services provided by BBC Radio cost the most to generate. Leading the programs in cost is BBC Local Radio, which consumes about 3.1% of all revenue generated to produce. Next is BBC Radio 1, costing about 2.5% of total revenue generated by the company. From there, it goes BBC Radio 5 Live at 1.6%, BBC Radio 2 coming in at 1.3%, and BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 3 tied at 1.1%.Though these seem like small numbers, in reality they equal out to hundreds of millions of dollars (Stake Holders, 2010).

The Future

So what’s next for BBC Radio? It seems that they are moving towards a more personalized experience for listeners: curated playlists, live and on demand audio streaming, and of course, digital download of their programs (Thornton, 2016). Essentially, the hope is to basically have a “personal” radio station for everyone that tunes in, curated to their particular like, interests, and past viewing habits. They also hope to eliminate programming that viewers may not be interested in at all, instead making listeners essentially pick and choose their favorite topics to listen to, whether this be sports, music, news, travel, comedy, or just plain old talk shows (BBC, 2016). Whatever the future hold, we know that BBC Radio will be on the forefront of innovation, and will always try to meet the needs of their consumers.




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