Radio's New Lease of Life in 2015

28/09/2015 15:44 BST | Updated 28/09/2016 10:12 BST

It's been a busy year in the radio industry.

Zane Lowe left London for LA to set up Beats 1. Grimmy and Melvin got second jobs with Simon Cowell. Chris Evans brought TFI back and became a Top Gear presenter. Chris Moyles, Vernon Kay and Johnny Vaughan launched Radio X. Front pages of newspapers told us that BBC Radio 1 and Radio 2 were under threat. Plus, Richard Curtis is trying to reach the entire population of the world with Radio Everyone. And we still have another three months to go.

In the run up to Christmas we will see more questions asked of the BBC and there will be plenty more speculation about the future broadcasting landscape of the UK. However, one thing is certain this year - radio remains vital in people's lives. Radio showed everyone that it is still the place in the media that is busy with innovation, has famous names people want to talk about and stations that millions of listeners are passionate about.

I'm particularly pleased that in an era of competing devices and time, there is still space for new radio stations and new ideas to arrive in the market with distinctive offers for listeners.

At Radio 1 & 1Xtra, I am determined to make sure that we remain distinctive - in the support of new British artists, the quality of speech and outreach work and the diversity of our entertaining presenters. I believe the Reithian values of public service broadcasting - inform, educate and entertain - are core to what we do.

I will also continue to ensure that there is space for all of us in the industry to thrive. Over the last four years as Controller of Radio 1 & 1Xtra I have made every effort to focus on a youth audience, listening to the BBC Trust, commercial radio and my own belief that the culture and music of young people deserves to be championed in an environment without advertising. Like Doctor Who, it's important to regenerate every so often.

I think we do a great job and it has been wonderful to see the response of the music industry - I thank them for their continued support during this time of charter renewal for the BBC.

Our fantastically creative industry needs to keep producing engaging content for everybody, whether you listen to our radio stations via traditional transmitters or use your mobile phone. For the good of the radio and music industries it is essential that Radio 1 & 1Xtra remain able to use the licence fee as 'seed capital' for innovation on both platforms, whether that be in the way we create content around artists or bands, or the training and development of presenter and production talent for the rest of the industry.

What happens in the next three months and beyond is difficult to predict, but here are two of my predictions: you will get a present you don't want on Christmas Day, and Radio 1 will continue to play a mix of new music that will find the next Jake Bugg, Florence + the Machine, or Royal Blood. As one industry insider said, "Radio 1 makes the hits and commercial radio plays them." Long may it continue.

Ben Cooper is 'In Conversation' with Zane Lowe at the 2015 Radio Festival.