Insights Ofcom issues call for evidence on market position and impact of BBC Sounds


BBC Sounds is a streaming media and audio download service from the BBC that includes live radio, audio-on-demand, and podcasts. Ofcom says that the audio and radio sector is undergoing a period of rapid change, driven in part by streaming services including global players such as Spotify and Apple Music. Audience expectations are also changing; increasingly they want to listen content where they want to and there is a trend towards younger audiences in particular listening online.

The BBC has responded to developments in the radio and audio sector and changes in listeners’ habits and expectations by incrementally evolving and expanding BBC Sounds. Given this, Ofcom considers that now is the appropriate time to take stock of the market position of BBC Sounds and assess whether there are any competition issues that need to be addressed, via regulatory action or other means.

Ofcom’s call for evidence offers the BBC’s competitors in the commercial radio sector and other interested or affected parties the opportunity to provide views and information on the impact of BBC Sounds on the wider audio and radio market, and on the market context in which it operates.

Ofcom says that it is also keen to understand the BBC’s strategy for BBC Sounds, the role it expects the service to play in fulfilling its Mission and Public Purposes, and how this may impact on competition.

Evidence must be submitted to Ofcom by 11 November 2020. To access the call for evidence, click here.