Determination and focus required to grow BBC Sounds audiences, says broadcaster

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent
BBC Sounds launched six months ago.

Gaining audiences for BBC Sounds will take “determination and focus”, the broadcaster has said, as it announced plans to advertise for a boss for the audio app.

BBC Sounds, featuring live and on-demand radio, podcasts and music, launched six months ago.

While user numbers have grown, the service has received low scores on app-rating sites and has sparked some grumbles from listeners.

In an email to staff, James Purnell, director of BBC radio and education, said: “We’ve made a great start with more than two million app downloads and brilliant new music mixes and podcasts …

“In just one year, our monthly downloads have gone up by four million to 24 million.

“But we are also launching into a competitive, relatively mature market. Gaining audiences is going to require determination and focus.”

Purnell, who was behind the creation of BBC Sounds, added: “We are … going to have a single person accountable for the service, a new controller of BBC Sounds.”

The service is set to replace iPlayer Radio later this year.

The BBC also announced a controller for BBC iPlayer, to reflect growing use of the on-demand service away from traditional, linear viewing.

Dan McGolpin, commissioning controller for daytime and programming, will take on the role of controller of BBC iPlayer and programming.

The BBC said the roles would not add to its senior level headcount.