A draft Media Bill, which has started its parliamentary process today, has vowed to protect radio stations streaming on smart speakers following a surge in online listening.
Smart speaker platforms, which include Alexa and Google Home, will be required by law to ensure access to all licenced UK radio stations, from major national stations to the smallest community stations.
Platforms will be banned from charging stations for being hosted on their services or overlaying their own adverts over the top of those stations’ programmes.
Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said, “Technology has revolutionised the way people enjoy TV and radio. The battle to attract and retain audiences has never been more fierce. British content and production is world leading but changes to viewing habits have put traditional broadcasters under unprecedented pressure.
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“These new laws will level the playing field with global streaming giants, ensuring they meet the same high standards we expect from public service broadcasters and that services like iPlayer, All4 and ITVX are easy to find however you watch TV.
“Our Bill will give these brilliant broadcasters and our legendary radio industry the tools to keep doing what they do best – nurturing the creative talent and skills that fuel the UK’s booming production industry, whilst making outstanding shows that we can all enjoy.”