December launch for Radioplayer
An online system which will bring together dozens of UK radio stations will begin its launch in December, it has been announced.
The Radioplayer, which has been in development for months, will gather BBC and commercial stations in one location, allowing them all to be streamed.
Radio industry figures were given their first demonstration of the new player at the annual Radio Festival in Salford.
It will begin a "phased roll-out" from December at which point around 50 stations will be available. By the time of the full consumer launch in February there will be at least 200 stations, including those of all the UK's major radio groups and all Ofcom-regulated stations.
Backers - including the BBC, Global Radio, GMG Radio, RadioCentre and Absolute Radio - believe it will instantly find a huge audience.
Around 4.7 million people already listen to the radio through the internet each month, which amounts to 8% of the radio audience. Listeners will be able to search by station, programme and genre, and favourites can be stored as pre-sets.
See here for a real-time demo of Radioplayer featuring five 'guinea pig' stations, fully working in browser, with station-switching and search.