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Why Am I Still Listening To British Radio In the U.S.?
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You can’t talk about British radio and not start with the BBC. With 17 national stations and 40 local stations, it covers everything from news and sports to comedy and music. As a public service broadcaster, the BBC has no external advertisers, so it’s not held hostage by external agendas. It is mostly funded by an annual license fee, which all U.K. homes and business with a TV are required to pay.

However, the government has no control over content or practices. They are not beholden to listener numbers like commercial stations. Their mission is, “To enrich people’s lives with programs and services that inform, educate and entertain.” The domino effect of the BBC is that broadcasting standards are upheld on smaller stations too. The best DJ talent often goes to the BBC, while aspiring DJs work hard to get heard on community or commercial radio stations like Radar Radio and Kiss FM.

Nikhil Shah, co-founder of Mixcloud and lifetime Londoner, can’t stress enough the importance of the BBC to the British broadcasting landscape. “It has an unfair advantage and has a huge amount of resources that commercial broadcasters don’t have. But most importantly, it has this public service remit to create diverse, quality content for a very broad and diverse audience.”
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