David Treadway, CEO, WRN Broadcast, said: "As a business we're in fantastic shape, with significant growth year-on-year from our comprehensive range of services across TV, Radio and Digital, but as a longstanding broadcast service company we are always evolving services to better meet the needs of our clients. With this development of The Networks, we're future-proofing the service for all of the international listening community and our broadcast partners. We look forward to continuing our working relationship with all those existing network broadcasters as well as the clients in our core areas of broadcast distribution and managed services."
Why was WRN created? From the WRN site, we have this:
"The World Radio Network was created to aggregate news and current
affairs from leading worldwide public and private broadcasters and
content producers, including NHK, VoR and KBS. The network developed to
include Arabic, Russian, French, and German whilst evolving the original
English network into 3 specific networks covering Europe, North America
and Asia Pacific. Both the French and German services will cease
broadcasting as part of this development."
See the WRN Press Release here.
Though some listeners are already unhappy about this new development move, their anger is coming from the perspective that the podcast service gave them access to certain stations they didn't get elsewhere. The business demand for the change at WRN has more to do with staying current with what a larger portion of listeners want. There is also another business concern: the consideration about what is best for the business and the brand to survive. One thing that goes into the business decisions at a place like WRN has to do with certain changes in the business itself.
International broadcasters decided long ago to host their own audio feeds directly at their own official sites, so there was really no more need to go to WRN. This doesn;t mean that ALL international broadcasters have started hosting their own audio feeds, but enough of them that WRN simply can't keep hosting a service that doesn't attract enough listeners.
Listeners are key to something like what WRN does. If listenership drops off, the business has to make certain changes or be no more.