A quick summary of where we are, one week after launch. I’ll answer a few of the most commonly-asked questions, reflecting some of the feedback we’re getting.
Having gone live with around 150 stations last week, we put our new ‘on-boarding’ process to the test on Tuesday and added about 50 more. We welcomed all the stations run by UTV (including talkSPORT), many Bauer stations (including The Hits, Kerrang, and Heat), Fun Kids, Planet Rock, Manx Radio, and Traffic Radio.
Further waves will join next week, hopefully including Bauer stations Kiss and Magic. There’ll be a short gap over Easter, then the snowball will continue to grow throughout May. Judging from the feedback, there’s a real desire from both users and radio stations to see Radioplayer grow quickly. That’s our top priority.
Why couldn’t you launch with all UK stations live immediately?
Radioplayer isn’t just a ‘listings’ site – stations have to prepare their own version of the Radioplayer console (which they host themselves), and send their programme information to the search engine. This requires time and organisation, both at the station and at the centre.
With the resources available, it’s just not technically possible to add all stations at once. We have a very small central team, in order to keep costs low for the industry. We’re aiming to get the 300+ stations which have pre-registered, into Radioplayer by the end of May.
How are you deciding which stations go live when?
We’re using a fair ‘first come first served’ principle. Stations are going live in groups, based on when they first contacted Radioplayer to express an interest in joining.
Will there be any community or student stations on Radioplayer?
Yes – any Ofcom-licensed station can join, and we’ve had pre-registrations from more than a hundred small commercial, community, and student stations. There’ll shortly be a simple, free ‘player-making’ tool, so community and student stations can create their own Radioplayer consoles.
Why does the search engine sometimes give unexpected results?
No-one’s ever tried to create a radio search engine of this type and scale before - and as with any search engine, it’s impossible to get it completely right on day one. We’ll ‘tune’ it over coming weeks, based on user feedback. We’re also advising stations on how to refine the information they send us – so you should notice significant improvements in the accuracy and usefulness of results.