DRAFT MEDIA BILL THREATENS RADIO’S VOICE CONTROL REVOLUTION

Digital entertainment and retail association ERA today suggested that proposals to regulate voice-controlled devices are disproportionate and could undermine consumer choice as to where and how they access radio and podcasts.

Digital entertainment and retail association ERA today suggested that proposals to regulate voice-controlled devices are disproportionate and could undermine consumer choice as to where and how they access radio and podcasts. ERA is calling for consultation on the draft Media Bill before any proposals on radio or online content are included.

In response to the decision of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee to support bringing voice recognition’s relationship with radio into scope of the draft Media Bill, ERA CEO Kim Bayley said, “Voice technologies such as Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant have been a win-win for everyone. They have transformed the listening experience of millions, they have increased audiences and helped commercial radio to record revenues at no additional cost to consumers or the radio industry."

“These proposals have come out of nowhere. They are a solution in search of a problem. The Government must consult industry and assess the impact before considering if any proposals should be included in legislation. Proposals which could allow radio stations to take listeners away from their chosen platforms to listen could add complexity and threaten growth in radio and podcast listening."

“We call on Government to remove these unnecessary provisions and to reject any further expansion, which risks killing radio’s voice control revolution and all sides will suffer. We urge Government and the radio industry to step back from this anti-consumer measure.”

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