RadioCentre slams Project Kangaroo for radio silence

Lisa%20KerrRadioCentre has hit out at proposed video-on-demand venture Project Kangaroo for failing to reveal whether it plans to include radio services.

The industry body has warned that the initiative, a joint venture between BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4, could harm commercial radio but says it cannot take a proper stance because it does not know the details.

Lisa Kerr, director of external affairs at Radio-Centre, slammed the joint venture’s behaviour as “unacceptable”. She adds/ “Our main concern about Project Kangaroo is the lack of information. We have asked the BBC if it plans to include audio in this and it has not responded.”

RadioCentre believes a Competition Commission investigation into the commercial impact of the service should be extended to include audio content.

Project Kangaroo, whose chief executive is former BBC technology chief Ashley Highfield, will be a consolidated commercial service, equivalent to the BBC iPlayer. Highfield was behind the launch of iPlayer, as BBC director of future media and technology, until joining Kangaroo earlier this year.

Previously, concerns have centered around the proposed service’s effect on competition for online video content, but RadioCentre notes the BBC’s dominance in radio, its introduction of radio content into its iPlayer service. It is also concerned about Channel 4’s intention to enter the radio market later this year. It is understood that Kangaroo has failed to rule out including audio content on the service.

Online video provider Joost has also outlined its opposition saying that the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 would be able to cross promote Kangaroo, which would be unfair on competing services.

Kangaroo was referred to the commission by media regulator Ofcom and the Office of Fair Trading, which has delayed its launch until next year at the earliest.

Kangaroo was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

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