No Ofcom public interest test for Radio 1 Dance

Ofcom will not instruct the BBC to conduct a public interest test in relation to Radio 1 Dance, but will consider the market position of BBC Sounds in general.

The announcement comes after the commercial radio body and All-Party Parliamentary Group on Commercial Radio said they find it hard to believe the new service is offering something distinctive from the commercial sector.

In reaction, Ofcom has written to the BBC to explain that it does not require a public interest test, because it considers the impact of the new stream on the market is likely to be small – particularly as it will be online only and contain no new or exclusive content.

The regulator went on to say: “However, there have been a number of incremental changes to BBC Sounds, and some stakeholders in the commercial radio sector have concerns about its development.

“Ofcom therefore intends to consider the market position of BBC Sounds through a public process, seeking evidence from stakeholders and the BBC. We expect to complete this by the end of 2020.”

Radio 1 Dance launches via BBC Sounds on 9th October.