UK’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport published the Draft Media Bill in March 2023 to help public service broadcasters better compete with streaming giants. New laws will be established to help bring more great shows to British screens and airwaves.

„Britain’s biggest broadcasters will get new privileges and freedoms to make more hit shows and better compete with global streaming giants under new draft legislation published today.” – we can read in a press release of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, and next the summary of the document:

  • „Confirms plans to bring Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ under new Ofcom rules and ensure public service broadcasters’ on-demand services are easy to discover on smart TVs and streaming sticks
  • New reforms to guarantee access to UK radio on smart speakers and cut red tape on commercial stations
  • Streaming services will be required to provide subtitles, audio description and signing to support people with disabilities.”

From the further content of the press release, we find out more:

„It marks the next step in the government’s plan to modernise decades-old broadcasting legislation outlined in a white paper last year. In addition, new reforms have been added to protect the position of UK radio on smart speakers as listeners increasingly move away from AM and FM stations in favour of internet-based services.

Smart speaker platforms – such as Google and Amazon – 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.

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.”

Background on smart speaker rules

DCMS explains: „With the rapid growth of listening via voice-activated connected audio devices over recent years, UK radio is increasingly operating in an environment which is occupied by larger platforms with competing services and the capability to drive audiences elsewhere. This Bill will ensure that UK radio stations are not charged by these platforms for the provision of their live services to listeners, that platforms cannot overlay content (such as advertising) over the top of those services, and that stations are reliably provided in response to listeners’ voice commands. It will also enable broadcasters to request a default route for their stations to be delivered to listeners.”

AdTonos and YoursTruly™ are already here

This is very good news for companies like ours. The new laws and regulations will open up a wider market for publishers and advertisers to deliver their own content via smart speakers That’s great news, especially for AdTonos. Our company is a pioneer in creating technological tools for broadcasting audio advertising on radio stations listened to on smart speakers.

We are the leading force in audio-centric advertising technology that has brought real-time interactivity to live radio with its new offering: YoursTruly™. The innovative technology allows advertisers to reach listeners via smart speakers with engaging two-way, voice-based communications, delivered across Octave’s vast portfolio of commercial radio stations.

A new era of interactivity for audio advertising.

On November 8, 2022 AdTonos hosted in London an exclusive product launch event for YoursTruly™ to celebrate the best of what today’s ad tech has to offer. The event provided industry leaders insight into the new era of audio advertising and interactive voice solutions.

By 2024, the projected market value of the global voice-based smart speaker market will be $30bn. With smart speaker ownership on the rise, and voice-assisted technology like YoursTruly™ becoming more ubiquitous in our daily lives, more and more tech solutions are becoming interactive. Voice-activated products such as Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri are fundamentally changing the way we interact with technology forever by creating the space for uniquely tailored, two-way communication between end users and brands.

After the new regulations come into force, publishers in the UK will be able to more easily integrate their stations with smart speakers, and AdTonos will provide them with technologies to monetise their audio streams.

Find out more about Draft Media Bill in the DCMS press release here.