TV Licensing launch radio trails aimed at students

TV Licensing has launched new radio trails on BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, BBC Radio 2 and the Asian Network. The trails are part of a campaign encouraging students to make sure they are covered by a TV Licence in their student accommodation if they plan to watch or record live TV or watch or download BBC programmes on iPlayer1.

Students need to be covered by a TV licence if they are watching or recording live television. The law changed last September, meaning students now also need to be covered by a licence to download or watch programmes on demand – including catch up TV – on BBC iPlayer. This applies to laptops, mobiles or any other equipment.

The trails were created by marketing agency Proximity London in partnership with TV Licensing. The amusing, playful creative highlights the differences between what can and can’t be done at uni and the questions asked by students of parents back at home.

Voiced by key BBC Radio 2 talent, Jo Whiley and actor, Paul Stocker, the trails will be released to remind students to check they are covered, as research by TV Licensing1 has revealed iPlayer remains the most popular catch up platform used by students, ahead of sites such as YouTube and services including Netflix.

Research also confirms that online viewing on laptops has become by far the favoured way of consuming BBC iPlayer. Almost half (48 per cent) of students own a TV but only half of those (23 per cent) choose to bring their set to university, a fall from 35 per cent just two years ago. By contrast, 89 per cent bring a smartphone with them, 86 per cent a laptop and 36 per cent a tablet.

Catriona Ferguson, Head of Marketing for TV Licensing, said:

The new academic year is a start of new beginnings for both for students and parents. As large numbers of students watch catch up, we wanted to make them aware of the law around watching iPlayer. They need to be covered by a TV Licence to download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer, as well as for any live TV. Our student trail will air on BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra and Asian Network, alerting younger listeners to the need to be covered. On BBC Radio 2, the parents trail will encourage parents to check if their children will need their own TV Licence at uni.

Michelle Hampton, Group Account Director at Proximity London added:

Students are entering a new world of independence and responsibility. Many won’t have lived away from home before. For the first time, they’ll be responsible for their own bills and it could also be the first time they have to think about whether they need a TV Licence. We know that iPlayer is a popular catch up service with students so that makes the TV Licence more relevant to this audience. Our campaign takes a simple and informative approach, with the aim of educating students, so they know the facts about when they need a TV Licence.

The trails begin on Sunday 27 August and will run on BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, Asian Network, and Radio 2 for two separate weeks, with the second week airing on 30 September weeks.

The trails will go live on the TV Licensing AudioBoom channel from Tuesday 29 August at: https://audioboom.com/TVLicensing

Development: the campaign was developed by TV Licensing, with creative development by Proximity London and production by Neil Cowling, Fresh Air Production.


1. BBC iPlayer is used by 82 per cent of students who watch catch-up or on demand (Harris Student Tracker research, May 2017, UK-wide coverage, with quotas on gender, region of university, year of study and whether they are from the UK or international students)

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