So Long C4 Radio, We Never Knew You…

So, Channel 4 to pull out of radio. It’s a shame. Their entry into radio, and digital radio specifically would have been a good thing. New content from a new operator would have been good news for consumers and some promotional firepower for DAB on C4 properties would have been good too. However, it’s not the end of the world.

Through Folder we help stations find a berth on digital radio and we’ve never had as many queries from new operators. Larger groups are developing stations as well and this year we’ve already seen the development of NME Radio, Q and Jazz FM. We, ourselves, have bought Fun Radio as we think there’s a solid opportunity to make money (primarily from its DAB coverage in London).

What I do think is a shame is that C4 have messed everyone around for the last two years. Looking back it’s been a distraction that’s wasted the time of the real radio industry who could of got on with their own radio and digital radio projects.

DAB listening still represents 11% of all UK radio listening (over double digital television and internet listening combined) and we’re nearing 10m sets sold. And what’s important to remember is that this is all based on what’s on air today. Lets not get distracted from the consumer story by the apparent industry story.

4 thoughts on “So Long C4 Radio, We Never Knew You…”

  1. It’s a bit unfair to say that Channel 4 have messed everyone around. They were obviously very serious about their commitment to radio and they’ve had to make a difficult business decision.

  2. It’s not like I’ve ever been a fan of the concept, and I had no confidence whatsoever that C4 had the first idea what it was doing (looking for people who understand how to make decent speech radio far more cheaply than the BBC, I don’t think that the smartest thing to do was to start hiring high-ranking BBC execs).

    But.

    Of course they had to pull the plug. More than half the stations on the bid document have been dead in the water since Christmas — and C4 didn’t even acknowledge it.

    There’s more multiplexes than buyers on D1. C4 needed rental revenue to make at least some money in YY 1-2 and the current market value — defined as what a willing buyer is prepared to pay — of those extra slots is nothing.

    [Of course that’s not entirely correct but it gets us into the real problem of DAB – the cost of transmission per listener, compared with any other form of broadcasting, even the preposterously-expensive-per-user internet radio is off the scale.

    Eight quid per person per year (Planet Rock)? £11 (Oneword)? Are these people on crack?

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