BBC-backed Radioplayer launches in UK

Radioplayer, the radio spin-off from the iPlayer platform, went live on Thursday.The online service brings together public and commercial broadcasters, Radioplayer announced.

Radioplayer, the radio spin-off from the iPlayer platform, went live on Thursday.

The online service brings together public and commercial broadcasters, Radioplayer announced.

For launch, the project has brought together the BBC and commercial partners to offer more than 100 stations with the promise of adding hundreds more in the coming weeks. It expects to have more than three million listeners within the first week.

The platform will allow users to search by station, programme, location, presenter or topic. On-demand programmes, 'listen again' and commercial radio podcasts will also be searchable, with live programmes and 'just broadcast' search results returned above older results.

Currently the player has 157 stations — including Global's Capital and Heart networks, GMG's Smooth Radio and Absolute Radio, and the BBC stable of stations — but this is set to expand to 228 within a week through the addition of the Bauer Media and UTV Media owned stations, according to Radioplayer.

"Radioplayer will benefit the entire UK radio industry — BBC, commercial, and all Ofcom licensed community, hospital and student radio. Every station on Radioplayer will be one click away from every other station," Andrew Harrison, chairman of UK Radioplayer said in a statement.

"All stations will be treated equally, and the smallest station will pay the least to join. We're aiming for the whole of UK radio to be on Radioplayer within a year," he added.

Future potential plans include expanding the platform onto mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, the organisation said.

Radioplayer uses stations' existing streams and will allow them to keep full control of the branding and content. Commercial stations will also be able to add sponsorship and advertising to their skinned console.