Wednesday 28 March 2018

Podcasting Now a Major BBC Listening Platform

First Podcast Commissioner Appointed 
Last year there were around 240 million downloads of BBC podcasts, an increase of 12% in a year. There are nearly 2 million podcast listeners in the UK who don’t consume any BBC Radio. Now the BBC has appointed its first Commissioning Editor for Podcast Jason Phipps, Head of Audio at The Guardian. From May he will lead on the BBC’s podcast strategy, overseeing the portfolio of podcasts across the organisation. This includes building upon the BBC’s established podcasts as well as leading on new and innovative series which are made purely to be podcasts and aren’t broadcast on BBC radio stations. 

The BBC was the first British broadcaster to podcast starting in 2004 and is one of the largest podcast producers in the world, playing an important part in supporting the sector for over a decade.

Last month BBC passed the 1 million mark for unique requests for our BBC Audio Voice app and the BBC will be launching news, food and children’s skills in the coming months, 
said BBC Radio & Music boss Bob Shennan at the RadiodaysEurope conference. BBC will bring all this activity together in a revitalised audio product from the BBC. BBC aims to combine all our linear radio stations, an audio streaming offer and our on-demand content in a personalised product, building relevant easy-to-access content. With new consumers in mind we want to create a new listening habit. -  At this conference in Vienna most attention was paid to seminars about podcasting and smart speakers.

Over the past twelve months, the BBC has expanded its podcasts to include ones which are different in tone and form to on-air radio and existing titles. These range from series which exist solely as podcasts and ones which can be heard as podcasts first to new podcasts which exist outside the BBC’s radio network covering a huge range of topics.

Jason Phipps has worked in podcast production and commissioning for a decade, including as a BBC producer for eight years until 2007 when he joined the Guardian as an executive producer.

Ben Chapman, Head of Digital for Radio, said: I’m delighted Jason will be joining us in this important new role as his expertise in the podcast sector is unquestionable. Across BBC Radio we’re investing and experimenting in what we’re doing digitally to reinvent our brilliant audio for those less likely to listen on air and making sure younger listeners can enjoy quality, distinctive BBC content when and how they want to.”

Also read
BBC Announces First Podcast Commissioner (Podnews)
Bob Shennan's speech to the Radiodays Europe conference (BBC)