Virgin Radio boss looks to multi-platform investment

New Virgin Radio chief executive Fru Hazlitt says the radio industry needs to get its act together and invest in as many new platforms as possible to keep up with future listening habits.

Hazlitt, former managing director of Yahoo! UK and Ireland, says it is crucial for the industry to look at how radio listening habits are likely to change in the future.

“We don’t know how radio is going to be consumed in the future,” she says. “Unlike television, radio is not being forced through to digital. It won’t happen like that as it is too habitual and the technology is slower.”

Virgin Radio is the most listened to commercial station on the internet, with a high proportion of US listeners. It also has more digital listeners than the BBC networks.

Hazlitt says she is impressed with Virgin’s progress and investment in technology and intends to continue this strategy, but expects a range of new platforms, such as hand-held devices, to become increasingly important.

Today’s generation will not remember a time when there was no internet or multi-channel TV, she adds, so they will be happy to adapt to new technology.

Hazlitt says: “People will still want content and information created and sent to them, but through several platforms, so you have to invest in a range of technologies.”

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