Radio broadcasting: data and research
Ofcom’s statutory duties include ensuring that:
- a wide range of high-quality television and radio programmes are provided, appealing to a range of tastes and interests;
- television and radio services are provided by a range of different organisations;
- people who watch television and listen to the radio are protected from harmful or offensive material; and
- people are protected from being treated unfairly in television and radio programmes, and from having their privacy invaded.
To provide us with the evidence we need to carry out these duties, we carry out and publish market and consumer research, and collect data.
The Radio Society of Great Britain (‘RSGB’) have made complaints to Ofcom and BT Openreach on behalf of its members, predominantly radio licensed amateurs, stating that the deployment of very-high-bit-rate digital subscriber line (VDSL) technology by BT Openreach has resulted in interference to radio reception.
Ofcom produces an annual publication on the progress of digital radio in the UK. It is intended to provide an update on the availability, take-up, listening patterns, and attitudes towards digital radio, as originally requested by Government in 2010 as part of its Digital Radio Action Plan.
Ofcom commissioned this research in 2016 to inform its decisions about potentially offensive language. The research aimed to assess how perceptions of this language differed based on context, and by different demographic groups.
During 2015, Ofcom licensed and co-ordinated a trial of a new approach to DAB radio broadcasting which we are calling small-scale DAB. This document reports on the outcomes of the trial so far, particularly in relation to its three primary objectives, and sets out Ofcom's conclusions.
A report in 2013 explored the potential for lower-cost transmitting stations in support of DAB rollout.
In 2011, Ofcom commissioned Essential Research to explore the future of small-scale radio (PDF, 847.4 KB).
This annual report explores UK adults’ access to and use of connected devices, their attitudes and opinions towards television and radio broadcasting, and related areas such as advertising and regulation.
In September 2015, Ed Vaizey MP requested Ofcom to examine the scope to deregulate the licensing of commercial radio, in order to enable the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport to consider consulting on options for legislation. Kantar Media carried out a qualitative research report on local commercial radio content to inform Ofcom's response.
To help develop a more accurate view of DAB indoor coverage the BBC and Ofcom agreed to jointly manage a research project in 2013 which would measure DAB reception in households across a variety of different coverage areas.
As part of Ofcom’s review of its Broadcasting Code in 2009, research was commissioned to explore public views on the regulation of commercial references within radio programming (PDF, 660.4 KB).
This 2007 report undertakes, for the first time, detailed research into the extent of listening to illegal stations (PDF, 89.8 KB) and the reasons why people listen to them.