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2016 – Best year for commercial radio

20 Mar

In 2016, radio achieved its highest ever revenue – a record £654.8 million, according to Radiocentre – the industry body for commercial radio.

The fourth quarter of 2016 was also a record with revenue of £181.1 million, a growth of 7.7% compared to the same quarter of the previous year. Radio’s annual growth now stands at 5.4%, outperforming the Advertising Association/WARC overall industry growth estimate of 4.4%.

One area of particular growth is online retailers. In 2016 this sector increased its spend by 90% – up £6.5 million to £12.4 million.

These figures demonstrate that commercial radio is in fabulous shape. We’ve certainly seen that at Radio Experts – as our team of planners, buyers and creatives have been busy delivering top-notch campaigns for advertisers both big and small.

We’re now in one of the biggest quarters of the year and some stations are running critically low with inventory. Easter’s on its way too, which always sees a spike in radio advertising – so book now and make sure you don’t miss out on securing the stations you want to use.

RAJAR Explained

30 Jul

Do you know what RAJAR is? More importantly, do you know why it’s so important? The next RAJAR results are due out this Thursday, so today, we’re giving you a very quick insight into Radio’s audience measurement system.

What does RAJAR stand for?
RAJAR stands for Radio Joint Audience Research and is the official body in charge of radio audience measurement for the UK covering both BBC and Commercial Radio.

How does it work?
Each week over 2,000 people are recruited by Ipsos-MORI to complete a RAJAR diary of their radio listening, either on paper or online.

Respondents complete the diary to show when they start and stop listening to a particular station. The diary also collects information on where the listening takes place. (For instance is it at home, in the car) and the platform (AM/FM, DAB or Online).

This survey is carried out all year round and at the end of every 3-month period, the numbers are aggregated to produce individual station results.

Why is it important?
All stations use the information provided by RAJAR to plan their programming and marketing. But it’s more important for Commercial stations, because RAJAR is used as the basis for selling their airtime and the bigger the audience, the more they can charge.

At Radio Experts we know RAJAR inside and out. This insight enables us to plan and buy radio campaigns intelligently, ensuring we get the best value and effectiveness for advertisers. The next RAJAR results for Quarter 2 are released this Thursday 1st August, so we’ll be pouring over the figures and keeping you informed of any significant changes.

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

DAB Radio as standard for Volkswagen in 2013…

21 May

It would seem that 2013 may indeed be the year for in car DAB radio, with Volkswagen having recently announced that all of its 2013 models with have a DAB fitted as standard within their car’s entertainment systems.

With more and more boosted DAB signal in the UK  – will this be the year of DABs rise to glory? Or will the arrival of in car apps and internet connected car media centres put paid to the in car DAB revolution before it rolls off the forecourt?

It is clear that whoever can successfully corner the in car entertainment market will have an opportunity to access the unique way in which in car audio has that intimate and solus conversation with the driver. Its a great place to be – but whose going to be there with the driver?

For more information on in car listening and the brands and methods that succeed best in this advertising environment – contact us at Radio Experts for a chat.

Born Free

26 Mar

March 26th, a day that will live long in Midlands commercial radio history.

Tonight from 7pm, Free Radio takes over as the named on air brand for what was BRMB, Mercia, Wyvern and Beacon. And whilst there may be some soggy bran flakes tomorrow morning as listeners adjust to the changes, we’re confident that by tomorrow afternoon it’ll be fist pumping dance-your-toast-off tea time as Free Radio energises the Midlands marketplace.

Just like Signal 107, Free Radio is an exciting move that takes radio brands wider and further – pushing the content over the geography, the entertainment over the locality.

For our bank of gorgeous advertisers it is exactly these kind of changes that work so well. Changes that define audience, simplify coverage and empower greater numbers will always be welcome. Free Radio – welcome to the party.

Born Free – A new Midlands Radio Superpower starts gasping the Oxygen and grasping the airwaves tonight from 7pm.

To listen to last few hours of BRMB and the first few hours of Free Radio tune in here on Radio Player…

Good luck Free Radio!

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

Donny Osmond joins Smooth Radio from across the pond…

21 Mar

All the middle-aged women scream at once…..singing sensation and dancing with the stars ‘star’ Donny Osmond returns to UK radio, with his four hour lifestyle show every Sunday evening broadcast from his Las Vegas studio onto the Smooth Radio Network.

Donny Osmond has delved into UK radio before with a syndicated version of his show airing on UK stations such as the The Breeze in the South and The Revolution in Manchester. But his Smooth move is a definite step up for the little man with the big voice from Utah. Osmond’s dulcet tones will be filling the airwaves from April the 8th.

So if you’re ever lonesome tonight (on a Sunday night specifically). Donny Osmond will be there to hit you with some of that sweet smooth puppy love.

If you want to know more about the changes happening daily across the radio industry stay tuned to @UKRadioExperts on twitter or drop by/email us for a chat.

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

Upcoming Birthdays: RadioPlayer – March 31st! We wish you many Wi-Fi returns…

15 Mar

The 31st March marks the one year anniversary of the brilliant RadioPlayer, the non-for-profit industry online radio player part funded by the BBC and commercial radio industry. Boasting some impressive first year listening figures (7 million visitors and counting…).

With news that they are developing mobile apps in time for the summer and the announcement yesterday that Virgin Media will be providing free wi-fi on the London Underground. Also combine this with the world’s media descending on the capital all using London underground during the summer’s Olympic games, festooned with the latest smart phones from around the world, paves the way for a very strong summer for commercial radio and RadioPlayer/digital listening.

At Radio Experts we don’t really need a second invitation to listen to radio but the chance to sit and listen whilst we watch the world go by on Kings Cross, Victoria Line platform 3, might come in handy once or twice during the Olympic Crush!

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

Brand Songs and Audio Branding

2 Mar

There’s quite a bit of noise at the moment about Brand Songs. Brand Songs is the nifty new name for jingles – championed by Mark Barber over at the RAB.

I like what Mark has done and thought there. It’s sometimes easy to stop looking around and get used to the everyday radio jargon landscape. But in reality, brand songs is a much better name than jingles ever was.

We’ve produced hundreds and hundreds of jingles over the years and every single one of them has actually been a brand song!

Throughout our marketplace we are seeing a new generation of marketing professionals coming through who have been trained in and have a passion for audio branding. Its refreshing, inspiring and represents a huge leap forward in helping brands to optimise what radio advertising can do for them.

The momentum of increased radio advertising professionalism coupled with the surging tide of on-air brand consolidations all point to a very fine, very fun 2012.

Which is nice……

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

Talksport responds to the BBC Trust’s proposals for BBC Radio Five Live

30 Jan

Talksport AdvertisingAccording to sources Talksport have responded positively to the BBC Trust’s finding into content on BBC Radio 5 Live.

In a review the BBC Trust have said that BBC Radio 5 live should be providing more coverage of minority sports and more news programming.

“We welcome the BBC Trust’s findings, and in particular its decisions to strengthen 5 Live’s commitment to 75% news, and to ensure coverage of minority sports,” commented Scott Taunton, managing director of UTV Media (GB) to The Drum modern marketing and media magazine.

Whilst BBC Radio has always had a special place when reporting our nation’s favourite sports events, we may be witnessing another wave of BBC sports coverage cuts. This type of change would only serve to empower and embolden the commercial radio sector’s ability to procure, showcase and benefit from the biggest sport events. More commercial audience equates to more advertiser opportunities.

From our point of view it’s a win win!

If you have ad brands that will benefit from exposure in a sports coverage environment or you would just like to know more about the types of sports coverage commercial radio can deliver – please email us or call 0207 8418744.

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

Talking about RAJAR Results

8 Aug

It was RAJAR Day on Thursday 4th , the day the quarterly results for the radio industry are published.

RAJAR Day is always a busy one for our team and amongst the media comment sought from us, was this BBC radio interview with Tim Cowland.

The question, posed by the presenter was ‘why is radio still going from strength to strength?’. It made for an interesting conversation, so here’s a snippet.

For detailed analysis of the RAJAR results and how they affect your clients and the stations you use, please just contact one of the Radio Experts team.

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

Capital FM rolls out across the UK

16 Sep

Well the big news is that Global are continuing in their industry leading charge to roll a smaller number of bigger radio brands out across the UK.

Hot on the heels of their Heart roll out (Heart went from 3 to more than 30 stations in the blink of an eye), they are now rolling the Capital brand out to 8 additional stations. In the future we won’t just be listening to Capital in London but also in Scotland, North East, Yorkshire, Manchester, Birmingham, East Midlands, South Wales and the South Coast.

Sadly, it’s the Galaxy brand which will bear the brunt of the changes as it disappears and becomes Capital, other notable changes will see Capital become the on air brand for Red Dragon, Trent FM, Ram FM and Leicester Sound.

Just like the Heart roll out, the changes will be met with a degree of despair in some quarters and it remains to be seen whether the brand roll out will simply aid Global to cut costs or whether it will actually build audience after the initial honeymoon period.

The UK radio market is travelling faster and faster towards a smaller number of brands, each of which have less middle of the road averageness and more national scale with niche targeting. From a media planning point of view this means that we’re losing the niche geography to some extent but we’re gaining the niche demographics on the other hand. And although we’re losing some geographical identity, we’re not really losing the ability to pick and choose where we want to place our radio advertising and where we don’t.

As radio media planners and radio creative experts, we welcome stronger more niche targeting. Knowing what audience a station gives you makes it easier and easier to deliver great focussed results to the right brands on the right stations. We watch with continued interest.

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