I don’t have access to the story that is in today’s Sunday Times about a decline in the audience figures for BBC Local Radio.
If anyone has access and can summarise the main points, it would be very useful.
It might just be a rehash of a story that ran in May in the Wisbech Standard:
Is this part of an ongoing story of decline in local news provision? Is a failed business model to blame? Is technological change to blame? Is it social tastes and preferences that are changing?
This also comes at a time when other media groups are investing in commercial forms of media, with News UK, the published of The Times and The Sun making a lot of effort to integrate it’s media services.
Research for News UK by Mindshare indicates that the digital audio audience will grow from 22.5 million to 31 million by 2020. Publisher HarperCollins, another arm of Murdoch’s News Corp media empire, has found that 43% of spoken word listeners aged 18-24 are receptive to brand advertising on podcasts and that 21% would pay a monthly fee for a favourite speech audio download.
Who will be left to fill this gap if the market can’t sustain news in local areas? It can’t all be done through social media groups, can it?