“Many thanks for your work preparing, facilitating and reporting on the meeting. We were really pleased with the session and with the write-up of the outcomes. You’ve been great to work with throughout the process and have delivered the output that we were looking for, so many thanks. If we find ourselves with similar needs again, we’d hope to work with you in the future.”Yvette Dore, Communications Director Digital Radio UK
We were contacted by Digital Radio UK (DRUK), the radio industry organisation working with Government, broadcasters, manufacturers, retailers, and a wide range of stakeholders to help secure UK radio’s digital future.
DRUK were working with the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on a proposed roundtable meeting of stakeholders to assess and evaluate the next required steps to sustain a healthy and vibrant digital future for UK radio, help identify the central questions to be addressed by an action plan, and determine the work streams.
The meeting would be attended by around 25 delegates, and take place over three hours from 9am to midday. The meeting would bring together a wide range of stakeholders, with differing views and objectives, with many nuances and complexities to be taken into account. We were briefed to work in partnership with DRUK to plan and structure a meeting of this kind, moderate on the day, and draw up outputs.
What we did
We kicked off the project by attending a briefing meeting with DRUK and DCMS representatives to gain an in-depth understanding of the topic and participants. We sought to understand the precise requirements in terms of the desired outcomes of the project and the nuances of the challenge.
Following this we prepared a detailed meeting agenda with our recommended structure and facilitation strategy to help the participants collaborate in the most effective way in the short time available. We agreed this outline and made other final arrangements for the day over phone calls and emails.
On the day itself, after starting off the meeting with a check-in round for introductions and to ask participants to confirm their hopes for the day and ideal outcomes from their perspective, we moved on to examine the future vision for radio. We did this by posing discussion questions including:
- What does the UK radio and audio market look like in 10 years’ time? How does that differ to today?
- What platforms are audiences listening on? What proportion of listening will be analogue?
- Will there be a fundamental shift in the proportion of audio that is live radio vs on demand audio vs music streaming and if so how fast will this trend be?
- How will radio listening in car and in home change and evolve?
- What radio and audio devices will people be buying?
We then invited breakout groups to discuss:
- What specific actions can be taken – on an individual and collective basis – to ensure the success of radio across all digital platforms within the wider online audio environment?
- What can we come together to deliver that we wouldn’t or couldn’t on our own
- Where can we support each other to achieve outcomes that benefit us all?
Finally we challenged stakeholders to define, based on the discussions they had just had, what should be the key priorities and actions? How should this diverse group organise themselves? Who is responsible for what? What are the next steps and milestones? What are the external/public messages, and when should they be made?
The meeting successfully assessed the options and appetite for broadcasters, the supply chain, and other stakeholders to work together with Government and Ofcom to deliver a healthy and digital future for UK radio in the face of challenges & opportunities from online audio.
Our report summarising the content of the meeting was approved by DCMS and is being used as a primary reference source to define the terms of reference for a collaborative Government / industry review of the future development of UK radio and audio.