New FM licenses good news for small-scale broadcasters
Ofcom is to extend the duration of advertised or re-advertised local commercial analogue radio licenses (AM and FM) from seven to 12 years. The policy changed in 2010 in light of possible announcements on a DAB switchover but in December last year, the Government said that there was still more to do before the transition to digital could be completed.
Ofcom said: In the light of market developments since 2010, we concluded that 12 years is unlikely to affect the number and range of services available on DAB since new commercial incentives for stations to broadcast on DAB have meant that there is less need for the incentive mechanism.
In response to today’s news, William Rogers, operator of 17 analogue radio stations told RadioToday: This is really positive news, particularly for those operators who manage smaller scale stations like ourselves. With many such licenses unlikely to have a DAB future at all and many not being required to switch based upon their size in any event, it is crucial that they are able to invest in their future and continue to deliver a level of strong local engagement with their communities which shorter terms of license duration threaten.
Read more: Radio Today UKDownload the full Ofcom document: Local commercial analogue radio licence durations