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The winners of the 2014 Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards were announced last week at a star-studded ceremony at London’s Westminster Bridge Park Plaza Hotel. The awards, now in their 19th year and organised by RadioCentre, saw Absolute Radio pick up four awards including Presenter of the Year for the evening’s host, Christian O’Connoll.
Bauer, UTV Media and Arqiva have teamed up with a joint application to run the second national digital radio multiplex. The trio are applying for the licence to run a second nationwide digital audio broadcasting (DAB) platform, which will be home to around 10 new national radio services.
Audioboom, the social media audio platform, has appointed talkSPORT as its exclusive UK sales partner to sell digital audio and display advertising through Audioboom’s network of sports websites, mobile apps and content.The deal meals media agencies and their clients will have ‘one-stop’ access to channel partners including The Premier League, Football League, talkSPORT, The ECB and Sky Sports.
48.1 million adults, or 90% of the population, listen to radio every week. 64% of UK adults listen to commercial radio in the UK every week, that’s 34.4 million people. Local commercial radio listening is well over 3 times more than that of local BBC stations at 27.5 million.
Bauer Media UK has appointed ex-Perform Group, Warner Group and LoveLive executive Sam Jones as Digital MD. Jones will take up the new role on September 1 and will be tasked with accelerating the transformation of the global media company’s digital business, leveraging multi-platform assets across both Bauer’s lifestyle and radio businesses.
Listeners to Bauer Radio will notice a lack of adverts during Friday drive-time, following a partnership with Auto Trader which will see ad time replaced by music. The partnership, implemented by Vizeum, sees ads replaced by songs chosen by listeners as part of a wider campaign to raise awareness of Auto Trader’s ‘What Drives Us Is You’ positioning.
GiffGaff will pay a KISS listener’s rent for a year as part of an on-air and online sponsorship entitled ‘Your Place…Your Space’. The station is sking listeners to create short-form creative video content or post a picture to Twitter or Instagram using #KISSgiffgaff as well as providing a narrative of why they deserve to win.
Radioplayer, the online listening platform run by the BBC and commercial radio, has unveiled a prototype car adapter which turns FM radios into DAB receivers automatically. The service scans DAB, DAB+, FM and internet sources, automatically selecting the best platform to deliver any station. If a signal is lost, it will immediately switch to the same station on another platform without disruption.
Bauer Media is undergoing a commercial overhaul in a bid to simplify its range of radio brands for the market and will refocus its offering around Magic, Kiss and Absolute Radio as its three core brands. The changes will also bring development to its Place portfolio of local TV stations, with core local channels such as Liverpool’s Radio City to follow the pattern of spin-off channels such as Kiss’s Kisstory and Kiss Fresh. Local channels will now have two brand extensions, one for older listeners and one for younger, in order to broaden demographic commercial reach. Meanwhile, Magic will go national on DAB digital radio in January 2015, taking it outside of its London audience, while Kisstory will launch on DAB in various UK cities including London and Birmingham.
Radio remains main channel for audio consumption although on-demand audio is increasing, RAB research finds. The research found that radio accounts for 70 per cent of listening time for consumers while on-demand content increased the weekly reach of the radio audience from 1,395 million hours in 2012 to 1,472 million hours in 2014.
Radio is facing up well to new digital challengers, but budgets and listening figures don’t tally, David Benady says. Brands should increase their radio advertising spend to boost campaign effectiveness, according to the Radio Advertising Bureau. Radio listening accounts for more than a fifth of our daily media consumption, yet commands only 6 per cent of all marketing budgets.
Absolute 80s, featuring bands such as Duran Duran and Human League, is most popular commercial digital-only UK radio service. Duran Duran, Phil Collins and the Human League helped Absolute Radio top 4 million listeners across its seven-strong network for the first time, powered by a strong performance by nostalgia station Absolute 80s.
The Radio Advertising Bureau has hired Lucy Barrett, the communications director at JWT, as client director. Barrett will be responsible for promoting radio advertising among advertisers and agencies. She will report to Siobhan Kenny, the chief executive, and takes up her new role in January.
The UK radio industry to be in great shape and should serve as a great wake-up call to advertisers, says Simon Kilby, head of marketplace at Bauer Media. “Maybe 2015 will be the year that radio is finally recognised in the advertising world for the influential mainstream position it holds with the UK public?”
Global Radio will launch a second Smooth branded station in the new year to complement Smooth Radio. The new sister station will play “Your Refreshing Music Mix” from December 27th, on the slot currently used by Smooth Radio on Digital One, at 80kbps in mono. Smooth Radio will continue to be broadcast on 38 local multiplexes, plus AM & FM, following its removal from Digital One.
More good news for radio, as the Radio Advertising Bureau picked up an award for its effectiveness study at the Media Research Group Awards in Berlin last week. The RAB received the industry accolade after fending off competition from Thinkbox, Outdoor Media Centre and Newsworks. Unveiled in October last year, Radio: The ROI Multiplier used the first-ever cross-agency data to reveal that brands using the medium get nearly eight times the ROI.
The Arqiva Hall of Fame 2014, organised by The Radio Academy, will induct Jo Whiley, Vanessa Feltz, Trevor Nelson, Nicky Campbell, Pete Price, Alan Brazil and Barry Cryer into its industry honours list in 2014. The event, designed to recognise remarkable individuals in radio, will be hosted by Absolute Radio’s Christian O’Connell, on 4 December at The Savoy Hotel in London.