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. tim.cowland@radioexperts.co.uk

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