Commercial Radio

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September 30, 2012 by dontbringlulubook

There are so many options for radio today. Content varies from genres of music to news/sports; debates; specialist audience…the lists are nearly endless.  There are TV, cable and satellite radio stations, as well as internet; analogue and digital services. Hospitals, military stations, universities, retail chains – they all now have a hand in their own stations.

There are commercial stations, public broadcasting, and voluntary stations (non-profit, community, hospital, university etc.).  Many commercial stations operating within the UK are run by three main groups – Global Radio, Bauer Music and Guardian Media Group. There are three stations which are national commercial stations: Classic FM, Absolute Radio, talkSPORT.

The BBC run 10 stations, of which half are only available on DAB. Other stations which do not fall into the above lists are independent commercial stations – these usually broadcast to a more ‘local’ audience; such as 107.8 Radio Jackie – a station which started life as a pirate until eventually getting its licence. Stations similar to Radio Jackie allow for a more informative programme and news service, covering topics important to the area it broadcasts. This ‘personal’ touch is often lost when conducted on a national or syndicated level.

According to figures released by RAJAR (Radio Joint Audiences Research Ltd) around 90% of the UK residences listen to the radio at some point each week; with the BBC taking over 50% of the share of listeners. Commercial radio comes in at just over 40%.
The birth of commercial radio in mainland UK did not happen until 1973. A ‘Brid’s Eye Fish Fingers’ advert was aired by LBC on 8th October. It took another 17 years before the magic milestone of ‘100 commercial stations’ was reached within the UK. There are now over 300 licensed commercial station in the UK, reaching nearly 35 million listeners.


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