Opinion: RadioToday industry predictions for 2020

One thing is for sure – radio is changing at an incredible pace. Keeping up with emerging products and making full use of smart technology is key.

But whilst the art of ‘input’ is changing, the ‘output’ has remained fairly static for many decades.

Listeners can still hear a friendly voice on the radio at all hours of the day – the major difference is where the voice is located and when they were recorded.

But let’s dig deeper down into the industry and see what 2020 might bring.

Last year we correctly guessed Bauer might launch a national station or two, Celador would sell up, and Heart would change its daytime schedule. But we also wrongly predicted Heart would arrive in Northern Ireland, Scott Mills would join Commercial Radio and Viking, Hallam and Aire would rebrand as Hits. Maybe we were just premature!

So, the next 12 months might see all, some, or none of these take place:


New streams added to BBC Sounds including Radio 1 and Radio 2 spin-offs

BBC local radio stations start rolling out new jingle package ahead of a major network announcement


XS Manchester rebrands to Capital XTRA

Bauer to close another broadcast centre in the North


Global launches Smooth Musicals

CMA announces details of Bauer investigation


Signal 107 sold to Nation Broadcasting

SAM FM South Coast rebrands as Greatest Hits Radio


Free Radio and GEM rebrand to Hits Radio Midlands

BBC reveals plans for Radio 5 Live News and Radio 5 Live Sport


talkRADIO rebrands

Future of FM decided by DCMS


Ipswich 102 and Town 102 merge to create Ipswich Town 102

Capital extends to Kent


Changes at Radio X Breakfast

Bauer launches another specialist music service


Capital extends to Sussex

Fire Radio rebrands as Hits Radio


Surprising RAJAR results across the board

BBC to close further AM transmitters belonging to its local radio network


Capital extends to Devon

A number of ultra-local radio stations start to appear on DAB


Chris Evans announces a change

Digital Radio arrives in Cumbria

Will any of these come true? Check back in 12 months to find out!