Graham tells us how the radio landscape has changed over the years.
I was a 90s indie kid.
Or, for the purposes of this blog, I was a pre-internet, pre-DAB 90s indie kid.
So, in my world - growing up in Newcastle - there was little to no chance that I was hearing any of my favourite tunes on commercial radio.
No radio DJ waxing-lyrical about the latest release from The Stone Roses. No speakers blasting out the alternative guitar-based noodlings of the Senseless Things, the quirky ramblings of The Frank and Walters or the utter madness of The Sultans of Ping FC (oh yeah, the more obscure the better!)
I can remember being excited when XFM launched in 1997 - a whole radio station dedicated to MY kind of music! – only to be equally disappointed when I discovered it was only broadcasting on a LONDON transmitter! This being the days of only FM or AM, I’d have had to hop on the train to Kings Cross just to get an earful.
But NOW, it’s a different story altogether. Thanks to DAB and then smart speakers/internet-broadcasting, radio has been completely and utterly and totally LIBERATED.
No longer do stations have to play it safe and head for the middle of the road to make themselves financially viable (although plenty of the bigger brands still do). NOW is the time of the niche station!
WHATEVER you’re into, WHOEVER you are, there’ll be a station for YOU - from Smooth Country to Magic At The Musicals, Gaydio to London Greek Radio, Punk FM to Asian Star Radio, FunKids to Premier Christian Radio!
There’s even a radio station JUST targetting a specific industry of workers...
Fix Radio was launched a few years ago by Charlie Mullins of Pimlico Plumbers and is the UK’s first radio station dedicated to tradespeople and tradespeople only. If you’re on the tools, then they’re on air just for you.
Originally on London DAB and online, they’ve just been awarded a national DAB licence giving them access to a bigger audience right across Britain.
Another national DAB station that we’ve recently been listening to in the office is Boom Radio. The clue’s in the name on this one – it’s a radio station targetting only for the Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964.
For many advertisers, these niche stations present great opportunities! They’ve eliminated a huge amount of wastage, getting advertisers directly to the people they want to target.
Radio X is the one for me though. 24/7 guitar-based goodness! I haven’t noticed any Sultans of Ping on their playlist though – sort it out!!
Want us to help find the perfect niche radio stations for your next campaign? Let’s talk.