bbc\s tim davie radio must offer more visual screenbased content
Last Updated : GMT 15:30:33
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BBC\'s Tim Davie: Radio must offer more visual screen-based content

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today BBC\'s Tim Davie: Radio must offer more visual screen-based content

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The BBC's Tim Davie has seen the future of radio – and it is screen-based. Davie, the BBC's head of audio and music, said it was a "real priority" that the industry established itself on smartphones, tablets and other portable devices and offered creative visual content to attract younger listeners. "With some regret we are moving to a screen world," Davie told Absolute Radio's Redefining Radio event in Westminster on Thursday. "Radio needs to accept that and get on with it and enjoy it." Davie said broadcasters had to be more creative in the digital age, including the visual content that they offer listeners. "I'm a big fan of pure audio and I have always felt that audio will hold up for a long time but in terms of the devices, it will have a screen on it," said Davie, speaking after the event. "We have been at it for a while, but what information we give on that screen, that is now a real issue." However, he warned against using webcams to offer a visual feed for the sake of it. "Radio needs to be careful that you don't just visualise everything and chuck up video everywhere," said Davie. "Our power has always been about the curating and the editing, rather than just showing stuff on a webcam." Davie used a conference speech in 2009 to warn the industry that while its overall reach was increasing, the average amount of time people spent listening to the radio was in long-term decline. Davie said radio had enjoyed a "really good run" over the past two years, but said the challenge was to keep younger listeners engaged. "We need to be on more smartphone devices. If I have one challenge for the industry, it is to get on devices. We need to be distributed on iPhones and all the various platforms. That is the real priority." The BBC's iPlayer is now available as an iPhone and iPad app, and the corporation joined forces with commercial radio last year to launch online radio service, the RadioPlayer, which has a Facebook app but has not yet been adapted as an iPhone or iPad app. Culture minister Ed Vaizey, who also spoke at the Absolute Radio event, said radio was no longer the "dusty box that sits in the corner of the kitchen". "Video has not killed the radio star, and technology has not killed the radio star. Video and technology will enhance the radio star." Vaizey said the industry was making "great progress" and passing "key milestones" towards digital radio switchover. But one milestone remains in the distance – agreement between the BBC and commercial radio over who will fund the all-important rollout of local and regional digital audio broadcasting (DAB) radio, a key prerequisite of switchover. Industry sources suggested a memorandum of intent might be signed by the end of this month. Davie said DAB was "in good shape" and the platform "in reasonable health", but declined to predict when a funding agreement might be reached. "We are looking at how we can get to the next stage of local distribution  theguardian .

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