Lee Waters sets out the challenge for radio within the Wales Media Audit’s draft findings.
Radio is a much neglected medium in the debate around media provision in Wales. But ‘voice’ has remained a resilient medium for people accessing information and entertainment at a time of rapid technological development.
Of all the UK nations, more people in Wales listen to radio, and they also listen for the longest period of time. Radio services reached 94.5% of the adult population in Wales and listeners tuned in for an average of 22.4 hours per week in 2014, compared to a UK average of 89.4%.
IWA Wales Media Audit
However, shifting market forces and technological changes have posed challenges to the radio industry in Wales. Several commercial radio services have closed and ownership of those that remain has consolidated into three main groups, with greater networked programming and reduced ‘local’ content.
According to Ofcom, on an aggregated basis, the reach of BBC Radio Cymru and Radio Wales, taken together saw a bigger year on year decrease in 2014 than any of the other national and local BBC services, driven primarily by a 1.9% fall in reach for Radio Wales.