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Happy New Financial Year

8 Apr

For many businesses, this week heralds the start of the new financial year. Even though prospects for both the UK and world economies remain uncertain, there’s no doubt that the business of commercial radio is in excellent health.

For the first time in 15 years, commercial radio now has more listeners than the BBC who are undoubtedly being affected by budget cuts. At the same time, the two biggest commercial radio groups have successfully built up national footprints through brand networks such as Capital and Heart (Global Radio) and Kiss and Magic (Bauer). They’ve also managed to retain a distinctive regional voice. In addition to these major operators, there are many smaller, successful ILR stations offering advertisers the opportunity to target local audiences.

There’s now even more choice for brands to promote themselves nationally, with new stations like talkRADIO, talkSPORT 2, Mellow Magic, Magic Chilled and Premier Praise, having launched last month.

Whether an advertiser wants to “go large” or “go local”, there’s now more choice than ever before.
More choice means more ways to target prospective customers. That also means brands need more insight to help navigate their way through the multitude of options for advertising on radio.

Providing that specialist knowledge and insight in an easily digestible form, is what Radio Experts is all about. With the start of the new financial year, this is the ideal time to start working on marketing plans… so let us help showcase your brands in the best way possible.

Tim Cowland is a Founder Partner at Radio Experts, a London based specialist radio advertising. @timcradioexpert

Coming soon to the UK?

26 Nov

Interesting developments in audio around the world

Audio technology is always changing. Here are the latest developments in the worldwide audio market that could be of future interest to UK listeners and advertisers.

  • Apple Radio has already launched in Australia and the US (the launch date in Europe is still unspecified but will probably be in 2015)
  • In the US, internet radio station Pandora has over an 8% share of all listening (the highest share in the UK is Radio 4 at 15%)
  • Turkey has a radio station aimed only at 2 year olds and under.
  • As of last Friday, Spotify Premium account holders in 10 major world cities – including London, Singapore and Sydney – can listen to their playlists in taxis booked through the Uber smartphone app.

On demand audio continues to grow worldwide. However traditional radio remains a vital source of new music, up to date news, live sports coverage, community discussion and the feeling that listeners are associating with a friend.

Tim Cowland is a Founder Partner at Radio Experts, a London based specialist radio advertising. @timcradioexpert

Radio: Trends to watch

14 Nov

The dust has settled on the grand unveiling of the Q3 RAJAR results last month and after a period of reflection our Radio Experts have been analysing the data in more detail.
Whilst some in the media feel that it was a very uninspiring set of results, there are two particularly interesting trends we’ve spotted that are worth noting.

BBC vs Commercial Radio
Whilst the BBC continues its listening share dominance (53.6% vs 43.7%), commercial radio is now snapping at Auntie’s heels and reaches over 34 million adults every week – only 44,000 behind. This is the smallest gap since 2005 and follows the trend from the last four RAJAR waves.

Digital Listening
Radio listening via digital platforms continues to rise and is now at a record share of 37.8%. The UK has finally reached the level where the majority of new cars now have digital radio as standard. This coupled with a 45% year on year increase on the number of adults listening via a mobile or tablet at least once a month (now 1 in 5) means things are indeed looking rosy for DAB stations. There are already four commercial digital stations with audiences close to one million. Advertising on these stations can be particularly effective especially as digital radio listeners are 19% more likely to notice adverts on the radio.

In 2015, a second national digital multiplex begins broadcasting offering another ten national stations, increasing the DAB national footprint from 72 per cent of homes to 90 per cent.

With a wider choice of stations, overall radio listening should increase and this growth will help the commercial radio industry continue to compete even more effectively with the BBC, offering  an enhanced range of opportunities for advertisers.

To find out more about advertising effectively on analogue or digital commercial stations, get in touch now.

Tim Cowland is a Founder Partner at Radio Experts, a London based specialist radio advertising. @timcradioexpert

Small is beautiful…

4 Jul

Why is radio the channel of choice for small businesses?

There are 2 reasons. Firstly, like many of the businesses themselves, radio is firmly rooted within a local area. Secondly, and most importantly, compared with many other mediums radio is an inexpensive way to deliver significant returns on investment. Radio is the “ROI multiplier”. RAB research shows that on average, radio delivers ROI of £8 for every £1 spent.

At Radio Experts we understand what it takes to plan and execute successful radio campaigns that deliver ROI for clients. Every day we combine our strategic thinking, in-depth knowledge of the radio marketplace and our tenacious buying skills to achieve successful outcomes for businesses across a range of sectors.

Small is beautiful and advertising on radio can be beautiful too…

Tim Cowland is a Founder Partner at Radio Experts, a London based specialist radio advertising. @timcradioexpert

Radio – A powerful way to reach motorists

10 Apr

There are now so many different ways to listen to radio. Traditional FM and AM are still popular, but as results from quarter 4 of the 2013 RAJAR demonstrate – listening via DAB is continuously growing.

The increase in DAB listening could be partly due to the fact that 45.2% of all new cars now have DAB radios fitted as standard.  Combine this fact with recent figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showing that new car registrations are the highest they have been for a decade and you begin to see just how radio is a really powerful way for advertisers to reach motorists.

Where else can you have such an intimate connection with the listener – a captive audience that is intently listening and totally immersed in the radio station they’ve chosen.

There’s a variety of ways to target motorists, both through the creative approach and through intelligent media planning and buying. Get in touch and let us help you navigate the way to radio success.

Tim Cowland is a Founder Partner at Radio Experts, a London based specialist radio advertising. @timcradioexpert

What the Bobbins is BOB FM?

11 Mar

When a station suddenly changes its name to something a little unusual, you know there’s going to be an interesting story behind it.

JACK FM Herts has just changed its name to BOB FM. It seems that the Hertfordshire based station wanted to broadcast additionally on DAB, which can be heard way beyond their transmission area. Because the Jack FM brand is licensed to other stations across the UK, they wouldn’t have exclusive rights to it on DAB. So they came up with a novel idea for re-branding the station – by asking their listeners for their suggestions. And so the BOB FM name was born!

You can listen to the explanation by Bob FM’s breakfast presenter Graham Mack below;

Tim Cowland is a Founder Partner at Radio Experts, a London based specialist radio advertising. @timcradioexpert

Musical patterns – why it helps us remember

7 Mar

We were in meeting with a client a few days ago discussing the various merits of a few different approaches we had produced for their sonic identity.

And within the choice was one particular example which although it consisted of the same sound constituents – it was significantly more musical than the others

And we talked and we talked

And there were different things about the different sonics that we each liked

But the musical one was the sonic that received our strongest recommendation

And this was because we started to talk about patterns – and how people remember things and how to make it easy for people to remember things…..and how to make sure that they’re not just remembering on a conscious level…..but there’s also a degree of cerebral printing going on.

Expanding the the subject out further of course you start to see a justification for and an explanation for  – how come jingles work so well?

Why is it that advertisers  took the journey from “this is what we want to say”


”let’s sing it so that people can really recall it?”

It’s against the backdrop of these types of thoughts and experiences which we regularly have when discussing creative with clients – that we were absolutely fascinated to be directed to this brilliant article.

(All credit to @MarkBarber at the RAB for the heads-up on this one!)

The article is long but it really nails it – discussing music – repetition – how we find pleasure in musical patterns we already know and more….

It’s always a nice feeling when others back up what you felt you knew in your gut. And in fairness all of the ideas that we work to at Radio Experts are based in a combination of experience, gut and science  – but this article is a brilliant exploration.

We’ve been saying it since the invention of the viola – but, a well thought through, well honed piece of music  – be it 2 seconds long or 30 seconds long – is a great way to sync your brand, your branding and your advertiser identity deep into the psyche and the memory of listeners.

Understanding how music works and why music works is a great start.

Tim Cowland is a Founder Partner at Radio Experts, a London based specialist radio advertising. @timcradioexpert

Clegg’s Conversation Goes National

30 Jan

Since 1973, LBC has delivered news and information to Londoners and also allowed them to air their views and engage in lively, topical conversation.

The exciting news today is that from 11th February LBC will go national and become Britain’s first and only commercial news talk radio station “Leading Britain’s Conversation”.

The announcement was made by Nick Clegg and Nick Ferrari during the “Call Clegg” programme this morning.

It’s great news for listeners throughout the UK as it means they will have a voice and a forum to engage in the issues of the day that matter to them.

It’s great news for advertisers too, as this new national focus provides exciting opportunities for advertisers to reach new audiences through spot advertising and sponsorship.

This new national coverage will be broadcast on DAB in addition to LBC’s existing 97.3 frequency in London and its online and mobile coverage worldwide.

Tim Cowland is a Founder Partner at Radio Experts, a London based specialist radio advertising agency. @timcradioexpert

How do you listen to the radio?

4 Jul

Is it in the car? On the train? In the office? In the kitchen? When you’re out walking somewhere? In the gym, or just for those crucial 20 minutes as you get up and get dressed?

The fact is, pretty much all of us listen to the radio whilst doing something else – it’s how we use radio. This is why radio is known as a ‘secondary media’. In other words, because we’re only using our ears and our emotions – we’re perfectly capable of doing something else at the same time.

So, even after we’ve produced really strong audio creative for you – how do you then harness a media which is strong because it’s background – but is also a challenge because it’s…background?

Well, from the media perspective, the answer is FREQUENCY. Or as we call it in radio, OTH (Opportunities To Hear).

OTH is the critical way that we measure, advise and plan the intensity of your campaigns.  OTH is important because it determines how much listener recall there is for your radio advertising campaign. Too little OTH will mean your advertising message won’t be easily remembered, too much OTH (using the same commercial) could mean you spend more than you need to.

Because this is such an important factor, our planning team make sure they build every campaign with the OTH needed to meet the campaign objectives. They’ll also work with our creative team to provide the best advice on how many radio commercials should be produced to ensure the balance is right.

Tim Cowland is a Founder Partner at Radio Experts, a London based specialist radio advertising agency. @timcradioexpert

Online Audio Advertising – Apples’s iRadio enters the market

7 Jun

Rumour has it that next week Apple will release the iRadio service at its annual developer’s conference. From our point of view, the key questions are:

a)            How will this service stack up next to the likes of Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, We7/Blinkbox and Google to name but a few?

b)            Will Apple be able to convert their mass scale – into a workable pipeline of micro-targeted online audio advertising inventory?

The principle that Radio Experts apply to all launches in this arena is simple……….if it will work for our advertisers, then it will work. So is there likely to be enough opportunity and enough inventory for our advertisers?

Well, Apple are certainly doing their best. To turbo charge the launch they have penned deals with many of the bigger music labels (Warner, Sony, Universal etc) so they’ll have the tracks people want. Ad serving technology, integrated campaign flexibility, reporting systems and open book serving stats are still fences that we need to see how they hurdle.

What is clear is that Apple’s iRadio will be a major entry in what is fast becoming a busy online audio advertising marketplace.

To find out more about the fast evolving world of Online Audio Advertising  and what it can do for your brands, give us a shout now…….we’re on it.

Tim Cowland is a Founder Partner at Radio Experts, a London based specialist radio advertising agency. @timcradioexpert