UK commercial radio network GCap is to add a BBC-style seven-day listen-again web facility to its portfolio of stations. A new internet radio player will offer the on-demand catch-up feature for what GCap said would be “a full catalog of all shows”, along with studio webcams, video gig sessions and email-the-DJ links. First to get the new tools will be the Xfm alternative rock stations that have so far experimented with Mi-Xfm, a limited personalized music engine that is due to be rolled out across the wider network of channels. A press release (pdf) stressed the catch-up player would be available via a “listen again” link from yesterday, but the Xfm website so far shows no indications of that link – disappointing.
While BBC Radio has struck its own licensing deal with record companies to make their artists’ full material available on-demand via its Listen Again feature, commercial stations, represented by RadioCentre, are limited to using just 30 seconds per track. RadioToday speculated that GCap is pressing ahead with the seven-day archive featuring full shows and tracks “without relevant licenses in the hope of a RadioCentre-brokered deal in the near future”. Alternatively, GCap, with its commercial influence at the labels, may have brokered its own deal. GCap is currently due to invest a much-needed extra £2.1 ($4.5) million in its websites in a bid to shore up disappointing radio ad revenue results with online ad magic.