Friday, 24 August 2007

The Heroes of RAJAR - Qtr 2 2007

As the dust settles on another batch of RAJAR press releases and UK radio stations draw up the list of people to promote... or fire, it's time to pick out the villains and heroes... and no, not the flying senator, or indestructible cheerleader types.

There were a few main stories that are worthy of mention.

Kiss overtake Capital
Congratulations to the guys at Kiss, who have finally caught up with Capital. We've certainly discussed the possibility of them catching Capital before on this blog, and now it's happened. With Kiss at a 4.5% reach and Capital dropping to 4.1% and the reach neck and neck at 1.51 Million, there were probably two very different meetings taking place at the respective stations on RAJAR evening last week.

Kiss's offering continues to sound fresh and connected to young London and the new morning show with Rickie and Melvin is starting to take root. For me, Capital's issue is not with the execution of the format. They've gone young and the product sounds fine. No, it's the strategy that I find difficult to understand. Capital seem to have left Heart and Magic to slug it out at the top, while settling for trying to pick up Radio 1, Kiss and Xfm listeners along the way. The move is bold... but I can't help thinking it won't get you to Number 1 in London again. The team in Leicester Square have a real battle on and I hope Steve Orchard's words of August 2006 where he the "believed the station had hit rock bottom", don't get rolled out too much over the next few weeks. The city certainly gave GCap a good kicking, with quotes like "GCap has marketed Capital in this quarter, so there can be no excuses for these results!" Ouch!

The Jazz... Nice!
Debuting with 334,000 listeners is a pretty nice job! Taking a listen to the station, the formula is the same as has been applied to Classic FM; take a specialist music genre, and make it as accessible to as many people as possible. Classic FM took the fear out of listening to classical music... and The Jazz will do the same for Jazz.

More for Moyles
If I was sitting in GCap Towers... or even EMAP towers for that reason, I'd find the biggest pot of money I could lay my hands on and send it all to Chris Moyles on the condition that he came to a daily show for the network I was running. (Believe me... it's been thought of!) His show goes from strength to strength and is testament to hard work, good production and 'letting the talent get on with it'. With 7.26 Million listeners a week, he can play his "Saviour of Radio 1" jingle as much as he wants now!

The Future is... Digital
More people are listening to radio and more are using digital technologies to do this. 2 Million 15-24's listen on mobile phones and almost 13% of total listening by all adults is now done on either DAB, DTV or the internet. Let's compare this figure in 12 months time to see the continued growth, and then factor in the Channel 4 effect too!

So, as ever... always something interesting to mull over. Now if only we knew someone who could paint the radio future... Hmmm... I wonder...

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Forgive Me Father...

"Forgive me father for I have sinned. It has been 28 days since my last blog."
The combination of summer holidays, extremes of weather, a glut of foreign trips and 2 small children, meant that I quickly developed a back-blog!

There has been so much to write about, instead of long, well thought out articles (some of the time, anyway!) here is a selection of topics from the last 28 days, worthy of greater discussion, but limited to a short comment! In UK news...

RAJAR's here again
More squabbling predicted for tomorrow and a big prize for the best excuse!

GCap fined for phone in competition
There must be a lot of nervous programmers currently hoping that the rather dodgy practises that have blighted commercial radio for many years are not exposed!

The new national UK Gold network is called...
Erm... "Gold". A missed opportunity and lack of creative vision? Hmmm...

And general topics...

Spend time with your jocks
Programme Directors get caught up in all sorts of bollocks! If it means you spend less time with your presetners, try and put a stop to it!!

Don't let the competition change your strategy
If a competitor sharpens up a bit and start to use a few new tricks, don't let this change your focus or even worse, your strategy. If what you're doing works, keep doing it. Sure, tweak at the edges, but don't knee-jerk.
If you commission research, and pay for it... and it looks good... use it!
Don't buy research that you belive in, and then if the results don't quite match up to what you expect, ignore it! Yes, bad research will give you bad results... but if it looks good, resist the temptation to be selective!

Wow. It's a lot easier this way!
There we go. I feel my visit to the 'Blog Confessional' has got a few things off my chest.
Thank you Father.