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Station controller Ben Cooper to ramp up on-demand programming...

BBC Radio 1 and Radio 1 Xtra controller, Ben Cooper, has announced plans to make the station "the Netflix of music radio", beginning this autumn with 25 hours of exclusive on-demand programming.

In an article published by The Guardian, Cooper says he believes the Radio 1's online content should be on par with its on-air programmes, focussing on on-the-go, "phone first" material. “That is a huge step-change in terms of a radio station’s thinking and attitude,” he explains. 

“The reason I am doing this is because of what I see happening in the TV industry with Netflix,” continues Cooper. “Netflix are investing something like $30m an episode in [the Queen Elizabeth II historical drama] The Crown. On House of Cards they spent perhaps $6m an episode. If you look at that and have a choice of giving yourself an hour of TV, what are you going to choose? You are going to choose the one that looks the best and has the biggest stars and money invested in it. I think the same is happening with audio.”

Cooper points to music streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify, which he believes are trying to displace radio as the first stop for people searching for new music.

“I have to keep one step ahead of the game," he says. "As a radio station we have to think phone first. The globalisation of media and the amount you can invest in an hour of content, I think that is coming to audio next.”

Radio 1's new on-demand programming is said to likely include a "new music Fridays" feature, containing the week's new singles, along with the top 10 most played tracks and most played specialist tracks of the week.