It’s clever how Gavin connected the disappearance of Amazing Radio to creative industries and emerging talent, and to his own backyard. It’s a brilliant fact that creative industries are one of the fastest-growing parts of the British economy, and music is slap bang at the centre of them, so we see his point. Thanks Gavin!
Can I draw your attention to an issue that has come up in the last 24 hours, a [national] radio station called Amazing Radio has been taken off the DAB network due to a contractual disagreement between the station owners and the trasnsmitter owners Digital 1. Digital 1 have the only license to operate a commercial DAB network in the UK. There is a public interest responsibility that needs to be properly satisfied in this decision, in addition to a commercial responsibility.
Amazing Radio is a unique and important station, because it plays music uploaded to the station’s website by new and emerging bands, most being from the UK. These are new bands that have in [many] cases not yet been signed. Amazing Radio does not play the traditional back catalogue and current work of any established bands and does not play commercials. This makes them unique and the only radio station in the world entirely looking to the future in its output.
New bands usually have a number of inherent qualities, many are made up of young people (some still teenagers) and they are highly creative, producing work that is innovative and imaginative, and for those reasons they offer a massive window into today’s young generation and many of the issues they want to talk about. Young people and the creative industries are two of the most important assets for business in the UK. Many of today’s young musicians provide the proving ground for up and coming film makers through music videos, and young photographers wanting to develop their craft. Musicians and film makers also feed into television and computer games production in the future.
So there is a national economic interest for young people today, and today’s and tomorrow’s creative industries, in Amazing Radio being available through the DAB network. It helps the British economy.
Could you draw this problem to the attention of the Culture Secretary and other Ministers who have an interest in the economic value of the creative industries in this country? Could they get the appropriate parties together at Ofcom and look to find a solution to this problem because of the public interest, and the creative and economic benefits doing so will bring in the future?
It is worth considering that a young band or singer in Broxtowe can get their music played nationally (and until this problem arose, on a radio most people have in their homes) on Amazing Radio by simply uploading it, as there is no other station offering that opportunity to local youngsters.