our blog


A lot is said about radio’s role within the increasingly complex world of media integration. But even when complex technologies are involved, sometimes it’s the old ideas that work best.

A brilliant example of this – is when we see radio stations using social media to do something they’ve pretty much always done…..tell listeners what the next songs are going to be.

Simple isn’t it? It’s really just a technological step up from the station presenter simply mentioning which tracks are coming next…..

Radio stations across the UK don’t just have loyal listeners, they have loyal followers. And because audio is consumed alongside other media (not instead of other media), we belong to an industry that has cajoled, reinvented, finessed and migrated its contemporary media relevance very successfully.

Twitter is just another example of how radio has managed to stay tuned in to the old things that make it special – whilst also adopting the new things that fuel and direct our media consumption habits today. Good job!

Coming soon to the UK?

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.

For more information about effective audio advertising, please contact us.

Does Santa exist?

RACC Christmas guidelines

religious themes – the Christmas story

Care must be taken when using religious themes in advertising and the Christmas period needs particular care. For some listeners, Christmas is above all, a religious festival so the re-working of biblical stories, prayers or religious passages to help sell commercial products and services may cause offence. This means that it’s unlikely that a creative treatment based around the nativity would be cleared. However, an exception can be made for creative treatments based around school nativity plays, provided they are done in a way that is not disrespectful to the nativity story itself.

here we come a-wassailing

The use of Christmas carols in radio advertisements requires similar care.

Some listeners may find the use of carols to promote pre-Christmas selling as exploitative. Tasteful use of carols may be acceptable, if the subject matter is relevant, for example, in the case of an ad for a concert performance or a carol service. It would be inappropriate, however, for religious music to be re-worked to advertise an unrelated product.

Sales messages, advertising slogans, jingles etc. have, in the past, replaced the lyrics of some Christmas Carols, but care has been taken to ensure that the choice of lyrics does not deride or mock the carol or religion in general.

The previous use of Christmas carols in advertisements has resulted in the lists below.

Acceptable as background music or with lyrics changed sensitively

  • Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly
  • Jingle Bells
  • Good King Wenceslas
  • I saw Three Ships
  • On the First Day of Christmas
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas
  • The Holly and the Ivy
  • 12 Days of Christmas

Acceptable as background music only

  • Silent Night
  • See Amid the Winter Snow
  • Ding Dong Merrily on High
  • Little Town of Bethlehem

Unacceptable in all non-religious circumstances

  • Come All Ye Faithful
  • Hark, the Herald Angels Sing
  • Once in Royal David’s City
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  • Good Christian Men Rejoice
  • We Three Kings
  • Whilst Shepherds Watched
  • The First Noel
  • Away in a Manger
  • Joy to the World

the festive spirits

In the season to be jolly, ads still must not condone or encourage excessive drinking. They also must not link the consumption of alcohol to social success; therefore, describing Christmas booze as a necessity or something that will help the office party go with a swing is unacceptable. For more details on rules about alcohol, see BCAP rule 20.

The rules on portrayals of the consumption of alcohol are not meant to curtail ads intended to counter problem drinking or tell consumers about alcohol-related health or safety themes, such as in an anti-drink-driving campaign.


Does Father Christmas exist?! References to whether he is real or not real need care; for example, ads are unlikely to be cleared that are of particular appeal or are specifically directed to children that suggest that he doesn’t exist as this may upset younger listeners.

If you have questions about any of these special regulations please contact us.

Radio: Trends to watch

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.

RAJAR Q3 – The Headlines

The RAJAR figures for quarter 3, 2014 are out, here’s some headline numbers and thoughts…

The London battleground remains as keenly fought as ever with Capital and Magic fighting for top spot. Capital London is no 1 in London for both reach and hours with increased average hours to 5.4 and share up to 5.3%

Magic 105.4 has pulled a rabbit out of the hat and seen its reach positively levitating to 1.96 million.

Possibly the biggest story is the near across-the-board thunderous performances of DAB Digital stations. With big increases for The Hits, Planet Rock, Jazz FM, Heat and the extraordinary Absolute 80s. In fact Absolute 80s now reaches 1.43 million weekly listeners. All this comes in the context of falling sales of DAB radio sets, so it will be interesting to see whether DAB stations can translate listener numbers into ad spend numbers.

Nationally, talkSport didn’t have as great a world cup as it was hoping for, a bit like England. Indeed, England’s early exit probably put talkSport’s figures on the defensive somewhat – a drop of 7% after last quarter’s gains – not what the physio ordered.

In Scotland, Heart and Smooth can both raise a wee dram as they see their reach go up by 14% compared to last quarter. In recent times both stations have seen some serious swings though, so the results are probably part uplift and part correction. Global’s investment ££££s in supporting those brands has obviously helped.

Over the water in Northern Ireland, the Q Network has had the luck of the Irish with reach up 21%. Whilst U105 is up 8% in reach and 15% in hours.

In Wales, local ILR stations have generally seen a downward trend in reach and hours but bucking the trend is Nation Hits – up 20% in reach and 51% in hours – they’ll be singing in the valleys over that one!

Regionally, one the highlights is XFM Manchester – it still has indie appeal and has increased its weekly reach by a very impressive 29%.

Locally, there’s a lot of love for the KM group in Kent. They’ve just seen their best figures ever with a total hours increase of 72% with KMFM East leading the charge – individually increasing total hours by 83%

It’s loud and clear that Signal 107 is doing the business in Wolverhampton with weekly reach up 92% from 24,000 to 46,000 listeners each week – a stunning performance. Staying in the Midlands, Free Radio Coventry and Warwickshire had a barnstormer which is good to see and probably slightly overdue.

All in all commercial radio is in tip top shape as its healthy appetite for combined reach continues to eat away at the BBC’s overall lead. BBC’s advantage is now just a teensy sliver of the pie chart with only 800,000 listeners more than commercial radio.

We’ve got the stats, so for more insight on what this quarter’s RAJAR means for your brands, contact us and we’ll put you in the picture.

Magic and Kiss to go national

Bauer Media UK has announced that Magic and Kiss are to go national. It’s all part of Bauer’s national radio growth strategy and the changes are planned to take place from January 2015.
Magic FM, currently broadcasting in London on 105.4 FM will be available across the UK on DAB with its “Good-mood music” proposition.

In addition, DAB listeners across several UK cities including London and Birmingham will be able to access “the best mix of old skool and anthems” on Kisstory – a brand extension of Kiss.
Another of the Kiss extensions, “Kiss Fresh”, will also be available for the first time on DAB in London and there is also planned growth for Absolute Radio with a marketing initiative focussing on the brand’s “Stand-up at Breakfast” campaign.

Bauer Media are also planning to develop their local radio markets with the ‘Place’ portfolio enhanced by two new brand extensions in each city. The new services – derivatives of the main brand – will be launched to serve the needs a wider spectrum of listeners in each area. In Liverpool, Place 1 will be extended with Place 2 – aimed at 45-64’s and Place 3, appealing to a younger 15-25 age profile.

These changes are all about building on Bauer’s existing offering and delivering more diverse and valuable audiences for radio advertisers.

For more insight on this announcement and what it means for radio advertisers, please contact us and we’ll be happy to talk you through it.

Radio sees 13.6% growth

The latest data from the RAB (Radio Advertising Bureau) has revealed that commercial radio delivered significant growth in Q2 2014 with total revenues increasing 13.6% year on year. It’s the best Q2 revenue performance since 2007.

This is a significant increase in radio spend and it’s an upward trend that we’ve also been seeing at Radio Experts.

All this means that radio is in rude health. So as we head towards Q3, traditionally the busiest quarter of the year, we’re expecting to see further increases in radio spend amongst a range of business categories.

Entertainment, leisure, retail, travel and automotive are just some of the sectors we would expect to see booking campaigns over the next 3 months in the run up to Christmas.

The advice from Radio Experts is to start planning now, as availability for radio inventory during the next quarter can often become limited.

If you’re looking for direct response for your next campaign, contact us and we can help get the wheels in motion. Call us on 020 3588 3000 or email office@radioexperts.co.uk.

RAJAR Q2 – The Headlines

The RAJAR figures for quarter 2, 2014 were released at midnight and our Radio Experts have been knocking back the pro plus / sinking a red bull or six – to bring you the key headlines.

For the second quarter in a row, one of the biggest news stories is in London where there’s been another massive increase in audience for Smooth – up an incredible 38% in weekly reach and 49% in total hours.

Elsewhere in London, Capital is riding high with the most listeners tuning in each week at 2.2 million.

Nationally, talkSport had a great end to the premiership season as it gained 180,000 listeners during Q2. Meanwhile the Smooth Network increased their total hours by 10% and their reach by 7%. These great figures for Smooth will have been enhanced by the Smooth brand having been rolled out now to the stations previously known as “Gold”.

Absolute saw some pretty tasty performances across their various brand extensions but tastiest of all was Absolute 80s with a Stand and Deliver performance of a whopping 1.25 million listeners a week.

Classic FM was up 2% in reach and 8% in hours. Big rises on a big base as Classic keeps on pulling in the huge numbers as Britain’s largest national commercial radio station.

In Scotland, they’re not just raising their flag aloft for the Commonwealth Games. Over in Edinburgh, Forth Two will also be raising a wee glass as it sees a big turnaround in its fortunes, hours increased by a New Personal Best of 58%.  Across the water, Citybeat in Northern Ireland has performed well too with a 10% increase in hours and 7% uplift in reach.

Heart Wales South has shown a big increase in reach as the Heart rebrand kicks in. It was up by 12% overall. Heart N Wales fared  a little worse but overall for Heart in Wales the picture is of growth.

Locally we could tell a hundred stories but here’s just a whistle stop tour of a few:

It’s a hurrah for the KM group in Kent, with their reach back to a ‘healthy 170,000′  and hours of 836,000 – the majority of the gains coming from the East of the county.

In Aberdeenshire, Original 106 struck big with a 21% increase in weekly reach.

In Manchester XFM picked up a large 65,000 new listeners as that station follows the XFM trend of going from strength to strength.

Heading West, there’s brilliant heritage station Swansea Sound, who performed superbly with a 12% increase in weekly reach.

And finally, it’s a wind of change for The Breeze in Basingstoke and North Hampshire, whose reach has more than doubled to 56,000 with total hours up by an amazing 234%. Crikey!

It’s another phenomenal set of RAJAR results for Britain’s radio industry and this time around it’s the commercial sector who grabbed share from the BBC. Commercial radio was up 330,000 listeners and the BBC was down 87,000 listeners.

Overall, radio listening is up – new brands are emerging, old brands are evolving, local heritage brands are thriving and your Radio Experts will always give you a sound perspective.

We’ve got RAJAR covered – for more insight on what this quarter’s RAJAR means for your brands, contact us and we’ll put you in the picture.

Small is beautiful…

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…

Why music is memorable

Music has been a part of broadcast advertising since the early 20th Century. The first ever radio jingle was created for Wheaties – an American breakfast cereal. The jingle aired on Christmas Eve in 1926 and featured four male singers extolling the virtues of the brand.

At Radio Experts we know that a big benefit of using music in advertising is that it’s extremely memorable. Music is composed in patterns – a sequence of chords and lyrics that repeat in a particular way. Scientists have found that using patterns helps us process information efficiently and makes it easier to recall that information.

This is why music can be such an incredibly powerful tool for radio advertisers; it can deliver a memorable message as well as create emotional engagement with the listener.

Whether it’s a short sting or a full 30 seconds – if music is done well it can create a unique audio identity for a brand that can become lodged deep inside the listeners’ minds.

If you’d like to know more about using music in radio advertising, call us on 0207 841 8744 or email us at office@radioexperts.co.uk

we make great radio

what our clients say

Both my clients fell in love with Tucker.... within 5 minutes he changed their previous perception of the industry..... the cheeky git got them to increase their budgets too...        

recent news

- Nov 26th 2014
- Nov 26th 2014


we make great radio