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Extend your reach with Digital Audio

6 Jul

Digital Audio now reaches more people than ever before in the UK – 19.4 million, up from 15 million in 2013 (RAJAR Midas).

Digital Audio is defined as any audio content streamed on a connected device. This includes digital and online radio, music streaming, podcasting and on-demand audio.

Currently, 65% of these services offer audio advertising and whilst some of us might choose to pay subscriptions to avoid hearing ads on music services like Spotify, 51% of all time spent with digital audio will expose listeners to advertising. If the U.S experience is anything to go by, it’s a trade-off listeners are willing to accept. Edison Research found that 75% of digital audio users felt advertising is a fair price to pay for free content.

With more users consuming Digital Audio there are now more opportunities for advertisers to target listeners with audio ads alongside video and display advertising formats. Audiences can be targeted through sophisticated audience segmentation, geographically, by device or by internet service provider. There are also options to buy programmatically.

Digital Audio is perfect for extending reach to specific audiences that are sometimes hard to pin-point with traditional advertising formats, but advertisers often combine both to maximize return on investment.

Radio Experts can help brands navigate this complex array of opportunities and pin-point the perfect solutions. Tim Cowland is a Founder Partner at Radio Experts, a London based specialist radio advertising. tim.cowland@radioexperts.co.uk. @timcradioexpert

 

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RAJAR Q1 2016

19 May

Welcome to RAJAR day. The results for Q1 2016 are in and with a Red Bull in hand (other energy drinks are available) our experts have been pouring over the figures, assessing the changes and forming a view on the overall radio listenership trends during the quarter.

The way people consume media today is ever-changing. The media landscape is shifting with press, TV and online companies all battling to re-invent themselves, in a world that demands constant evolution. What this RAJAR demonstrates is that radio is still hugely popular – steady, reliable and consistently delivering loyal audiences.

Overall, commercial radio’s share of listening is 43.2%, up from 42.8% year on year. Share of national listening is also up 14.6% from 14.2%, as is reach – up by 6% to 18.2 million.

There are plenty of fascinating stories to take out of this quarter’s results, but here are some of the key insights nationally and locally.

Nationals and Networks
One of the most fascinating stories revolves around Radio X. This was always going to be the RAJAR where changes to the brand and programming last year really started to make their mark. They put in a solid performance with an increase in total listening hours but interestingly most of the gains came from outside of London.

In the battle between the Global and Bauer brands, Global still has the bigger numbers in terms of reach and hours but Bauer have made the biggest gains. Magic has pulled an increase of 3% reach and 5% in hours out of the hat. The Kiss audience has remained stable but Absolute Radio’s 15% increase in total hours to 15.7million is great news for the popular rock station.

The Digital radio success story continues – with DAB, DTV and online now accounting for 44.1% of all radio listening. And it’s no surprise that ownership of DAB radios has increased to 55.7%.

Digital stations that are making a noise this RAJAR include Planet Rock and Absolute 80s. Planet Rock has increased by 10% in reach and, more impressively, have rocked out with a guitar-twanging increase of 30% in total hours.

Absolute 80s keeps growing as fast as an 80’s mullet with a weekly reach of 1.7 million, up by 9% – their highest ever.

Kisstory is on a high – up in both weekly reach and total hours by 3%. Other Absolute brands – 70s, 90s and Classic Rock have seen a more mixed picture of gains and losses.

London
London has had a quieter than usual RAJAR quarter with only 3 of the 14 major London stations increasing in reach.

Capital 95.8 is king as the largest reaching station in London, with nearly 2.3 million listeners tuning in each week – an increase of 10% compared to the last quarter.

Capital has also won the battle for breakfast in London with Dave Berry and new co-presenters George Shelley and Lilah Parsons. The weekly audience is up 35% year on year, so didn’t suffer from the departure of long-standing co-host Lisa Snowdon.

Heart can claim the prize for the most listening hours in London, beating its stable-mate LBC.

Absolute Radio will be absolutely ecstatic with their performance in the capital, with a rise of 22% in total listening hours. The Christian O’Connell breakfast show has also achieved its highest ever audience.

Analysing the smaller London stations, Premier Christian Radio has gained 11% in reach and 42% in total listening. Meanwhile, Sunrise is resurgent, winning back the majority of the listeners they lost in the last quarter, up 25% in reach and 22% in hours.

These are the top 5 stations in London in terms of reach

1.    Capital London         2,286,000

2.    Kiss 100                     2,011,000

3.    Magic 105.4              1,745,000

4.    Heart London           1,547,000

5.    LBC 97.3                   1,001,000

And here’s the ranking in terms of total hours:

1.    Heart London           9,482,000

2.    Capital London         9,474,000

3.    LBC 97.3                   8,993,000

4.    Magic 105.4              8,812,000

5.    Kiss 100                     8,726,000

Northern Ireland
Across the Irish sea the mist is clearing as Downtown Radio has bounced back from a couple of disappointing quarters, with a 12% increase in reach and a 21% increase in hours – the only Northern Irish station to increase both reach and hours this quarter.

Both Q brand radio stations have managed to up their average listening hours with Q Radio Belfast showing a spike in total hours of 12% and the Q Network increasing by 6%. The relatively recent rebrand from Citybeat doesn’t seem to have harmed Q Radio Belfast, with the station growing its listenership both quarters since the name change.

Scotland
Heart Scotland hasn’t missed a beat as it’s managed to build on the solid 35% increase in total hours it achieved last quarter, adding a further 7% this time round. This brings its total hours up to 3,641,000, which Year on Year is a 29.2% increase in hours. It’s a stellar performance.

Capital Scotland has also had a good RAJAR, with a slight increase in reach and a 12% boost in hours. This means that Capital Scotland still holds the top spot in its battle against Heart Scotland in terms of reach, but Heart has is still dominant in terms of total hours.

Over in Edinburgh, there have been some fairly hefty swings this RAJAR,  but one highlight is local DAB station, Forth 3. It’s had a colossal uplift in its total hours of 96%, but bear in mind this only takes their total weekly hours up to 49,000.

West Sound & Radio Borders have both had slight uplifts in reach and hours, and now achieve impressive reach percentage figures of 47% and 53% respectively.

Smooth Radio Scotland has also has had a decent quarter with a 3% increase in reach and a 4% increase in hours.

Wales
They’ll be singing their hearts out in the north of the principality as Heart North Wales reported a 36% increase in hours – that’s 11.77% year on year. Owners Global Radio will also be celebrating the success of Smooth Radio South Wales – upping its total hours by 16%.

96.4 The Wave has the distinction of being the only Welsh station to increase both reach and hours this quarter, although the change is marginal.

The Local Picture
Let’s start in the South and after a great Q4 result at the end of 2015, the KMFM group has as another great move forward – closing the gap on Heart Kent further with a 23% increase in their total hours.

Elsewhere in Kent, it’s smooth sailing for the Smooth brand in Kent with a 25% uplift in hours. But people still love Heart – it retains the honour of being most listened to station in the area.

If you want a taste of Cornwall, the waters stay calm for Pirate FM as it retains its positive position from last quarter with another increase in hours.

As mentioned earlier, one of the major talking points for Q1 is how did Radio X perform? Well, in Manchester the brand switch up seems to be working, with gains in both in hours and reach (up 23% from 1,011,000 to 1,239,000  total hours and up 6% in weekly reach.) However, Capital Manchester still remains the most dominant station, even with a slight decrease of 7% in hours.

The AM stations are doing well, perhaps due in part due to the ageing UK population. Global’s Smooth brand is doing well in Cambridge – up 59% in hours and Smooth Devon has also posted a big increase – up 46% in hours.

Looking to the big cities, particularly across the north, the heritage stations are seeing great loyalty from listeners. Bauer’s Big City Network put in a strong  performance during Q1. TFM 2 deserves a mention – up 65% in hrs (from 84,000 to 139,000) and also 36% in reach – a great performance from the Teesside station.

In other news north of the border Metro 2 is up 52% in hours and 12% in reach. Blackpool’s Rock FM 2 is also up 20% in hours.

Going ultra-local, residents in West Sussex are getting into the spirit by getting behind their local station Spirit FM and listening for longer – total hours up 19% from 441,000 to 524,000.

There’s a favourable wind behind The Breeze brand. The Breeze Basingstoke, Newbury and Andover is up 36% in hours and up 33% in reach compared to the last quarter. Over in Cheltenham, The Breeze is up 45% in hours.

There’s also a revolution in Oldham with their local station (The Revolution) up 37% in hours and 5% in reach.

Summary
Overall, commercial radio continues to evolve with new brands, new stations and new technology driving growth. The results from Q1 shows that there is still massive loyalty to radio across the UK. Within a media sea of change, Radio is the ship with a strong hand on the rudder!

We’ve got all the data, so if you like to know more about what the latest RAJAR figures mean for you call us on 0203 588 3000 or visit our site to read more about our radio advertising

Bauer Media buys Orion Media

9 May

It’s been announced that Bauer Media has bought the radio group Orion Media. Orion was created in 2009 from the enforced sale of several radio stations in the Midlands that were owned by Global Radio (and prior to that, by GCap Media). This deal will see Bauer take control of stations including Gem 106 and Free Radio. As Bauer already handle the national sales contract for the Orion stations, it’s unlikely that there will be any immediate changes to advertising opportunities. However, the purchase might be subject to investigation by competition regulators.

The stations involved in the deal are as follows:

Free Radio Birmingham (formerly BRMB) broadcasting across Birmingham

Free Radio Coventry & Warwickshire (formerly Mercia)

Free Radio Herefordshire & Worcestershire (formerly Wyvern)

Free Radio Shropshire & Black Country (formerly Beacon)

Gem 106 [East Midlands] (formerly Heart 106)

Free Radio 80’s [West Midlands] (formerly Gold)

Bauer have yet to announce their plan for the Orion Media stations. It maybe that the Free FM stations and Gem 106 will be added to Bauer’s City 1 Network and Free Radio 80’s to the City 2 Network.

We’ll keep you up to date with any further announcements on this from Bauer, as they happen. Radio Experts can help brands navigate this complex array of opportunities and pin-point the perfect solutions Call us on 0203 588 3000 or visit our site to read more about our radio advertising

The Pitch of a Politician

6 May

With the next few months seeing both local elections and the EU in – out referendum, we’re already hearing a host of politicians’ voices.

We’re not listening to their pitch (what they’re saying) but their pitch (how they’re saying it).

Studies led by Rosario Signorello from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, found that successful politicians share vocal qualities that influence how their audience responds to them – unrelated to the meaning of their words or ideas expressed.

He found that political speakers used different patterns of speech, depending on whom they were addressing. In monologues addressed to voters, speakers exerted great effort to offer a wide pitch range. But when addressing other leaders at conferences, the same speakers used a narrower pitch range and lower pitch.

The sound of a voice and how a message is delivered can be just as important than the content itself and that doesn’t just apply to politicians – it’s also true of radio and audio ads.

We help brands select the right voice to ensure campaigns are distinctive, create rapport and build relationships with the audience. During the casting process we carefully consider everything from the age, tone, accent and pitch of a voice right through to how it’s delivered, ensuring the advertising message will stand out and have high recall.

If you need a radio or audio ad produced, contact us and listen to our pitch!

Radio Experts can help brands navigate this complex array of opportunities and pin-point the perfect solutions Call us on 0203 588 3000 or visit our site to read more about our radio advertising

How do you listen to radio?

4 May

That’s the question asked by researchers compiling the latest Midas survey published by Rajar. Now, more than ever before, radio lives beyond the radio set and this research offers some additional insight into all radio and non-radio, audio listening.

Top line findings are:

  • Live radio accounts for 84% of all in-car listening compared to 12% for on-demand music services.
  • We spend nearly 26 hours each week with audio content.
  • Live radio accounts for 74% share of all audio consumption.
  • Catch up services account for 15% of weekly radio listening.
  • 38% of audio listening is on devices other than radio sets with PC/laptops accounting for 11% and smartphones 8%.

Listening on FM or AM is still the most popular way to listen to live radio at 47%, with DAB Radio next at 35%.

But what of the future? More personalised audio advertising? The two major radio groups Global and Bauer already offer listeners the opportunity to be served personalised advertisements on Capital Xtra and Absolute Radio. In addition, Bauer have just extended their service to the Kiss Network, Kerrang!, Heat Radio and Planet Rock.

There’s a whole range of options available to radio advertisers with an ever expanding variety of platforms.

Radio Experts can help brands navigate this complex array of opportunities and pin-point the perfect solutions. Tim Cowland is a Founder Partner at Radio Experts, a London based specialist radio advertising. tim.cowland@radioexperts.co.uk. @timcradioexpert

Summer Lovin’

24 Mar

The clocks move forward this weekend, marking the start of British Summer Time. We’re all looking forward to warmer weather, but both the UK ad market and commercial radio have seen things hotting up for some time.

The UK was recently cited as the stand-out ad market in Europe, with advertising spend this year forecast to outperform the Western and Central Europe region. In addition, radio advertising spend in the UK is predicted to be up by 5%.

The latest RAJAR figures also revealed that, for the first time in 15 years, commercial radio has more listeners than the BBC.

The start of British Summer Time brings people out of their cocoons. The population starts getting out and about, engaging in more outdoor leisure pursuits, holidays and gardening activities – very often taking the radio with them wherever they go. This is an ideal opportunity for businesses to use radio to promote their products and services locally, using established radio brands such as Heart, Capital, Smooth, Radio X and the City Network.

For wider reach, there are strong national brands, such as Classic FM, talkSPORT, Absolute and Magic. In addition, there are now 18 stations broadcasting on the second national digital multiplex – many new to the national marketplace. These include talkRADIO, talkSPORT2, Share Radio, Mellow Magic, Magic Chilled, Sunrise Radio, Panjab Radio and Fun Kids. These stations are already broadcasting, but they are soon to be joined by the return of “Virgin Radio”, which launches on the 30th of March.

If you’ve got a brand that wants to be the “sound of summer”, contact us and we can help pin-point the right station selection for your campaign.

Tim Cowland is a Founder Partner at Radio Experts, a London based specialist radio advertising. tim.cowland@radioexperts.co.uk. @timcradioexpert

National radio stations to launch

26 Feb

The wait is over –  the second national digital multiplex (D2) will go live on Monday. Its launch will bring 18 national commercial stations to a new broadcast platform.

In total, there will be eight specialist music stations, three talk stations, three Asian stations, three Christian stations and one for kids.

The stations are:
talkRADIO (Presenters to include Paul Ross, Iain Lee and George Galloway)
talkSPORT2 (Launching 15th March at Cheltenham Festival)
Virgin Radio (DJ’s to include Edith Bowman)
Share Radio
Mellow Magic
Magic Chilled
Kisstory
Heat Radio
Sunrise Radio
Awesome Radio
UCB2
Premier Praise! (Launching on Easter Sunday)
Panjab Radio
Fun Kids
Jazz FM

The following stations already broadcast nationally and are moving to the D2 platform: Absolute 80s
Planet Rock
Premier Christian Radio

In addition, Heart Extra is also launching on the original, D1 platform.

Accurate audience data for these stations won’t be available until later in the year, but whilst some are in their infancy, there are likely to be some short term national opportunities available for spot advertising, sponsorship and promotions.

Tim Cowland is a Founder Partner at Radio Experts, a London based specialist radio advertising. tim.cowland@radioexperts.co.uk. @timcradioexpert