Radio 1’s Ben Cooper says radio is vital despite rise of streaming

Former Assistant Editor
Image: BBC Radio 1

Music and radio executives and from around the world are featuring at California creative summit Musexpo, with BBC Radio 1 controller Ben Cooper took the opportunity to address the threat to radio that streaming poises.

As reported by TMN, Cooper says radio will continue to be necessary into the future as it provides a sense of community that streaming can’t.

“Streaming is insular,” he said. “For radio it’s about the zeitgeist, the community. Give us the artist, we’ll put a great presenter next to the artist, and do creative things with the artist and the audience.”

Cooper, who has repeatedly spoken in public about the death of radio being exaggerated, compared the current state of radio to the continued success of the book industry despite the introduction of the Kindle.

He believes that streaming will reach a saturation point and that many who haven’t yet signed up to a streaming service are now unlikely to do so, noting that radio remains key for discovering new music.

“How much more can streaming go up? There will be a couple of years of growth and then it will level off.

“There will be people who want new music and will get it from their radio.”

On the other side of the coin, SB Projects president Allison Kaye said that old school gatekeepers to music, including radio, were now under threat.

Kaye believes that if radio doesn’t appeal to artists, it be able to keep up.

“Message to awards shows and radio, you will have to appeal to artists and they will dictate what they want to do.”

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