Bauer’s Network Changes

An interesting bunch of changes are about to happen to Bauer’s network of radio stations.

At the national level they have two types of national radio station.

In the Premier league they’re pointing to Absolute Radio, Kiss and Magic. With Absolute Radio and Kiss already broadcast nationally on DAB, they’re going to be adding Magic to Digital One in January 2015.

Absolute 90s will provide the capacity to make this happen, though will still remain on in London and some other areas.

Alongside Kiss, Kisstory will join DAB in London and a selection of local multiplexes and Kiss Fresh will be in London on DAB.

In the second division nationally they’re still supporting Heat Radio, Planet Rock and Kerrang.

At a local level where there’s a Place network station on FM, eg Radio City -that stays the same – simulcast on FM and DAB. However, what was Magic AM becomes Radio City 2 on AM and DAB. And then a third station launches in each market on DAB targeting 15 to24s – Radio City 3.

The stations that get a ‘2’ are: Clyde 2, Key 2, Metro Radio 2, Hallam 2, Radio City 2, Forth 2, Rock 2, Viking 2, TFM 2, Tay 2, Northsound 2, Radio Aire 2, MFR 2 and Westsound 2. The ‘3’s go to all of those stations except Northsound and Westsound.

Updated: The Hits, it seems, will cease in those areas to become the 3 service. It’ll carry on, as is, on DAB in London and Freeview as The Hits – clever network splits ahoy!

These changes happen in January 2015 too.

This is quite an interesting shift. It means nationally they’ve got three strong national brands – Absolute, Magic and Kiss.

Then locally with 1, 2 and 3, it’s an aim to cover off the local market with services targeting 15-24s (Radio City 3), 25-44 (Radio City) and 45-64 (Radio City 2).

There’s then some more niche national development brands in there with Heat, Kerrang and Planet Rock.

For Bauer,  Global is the big competitor and this is a solid strategy to try and dominate locally and nationally. To be a real success locally though, they’ll need to give proper cross-promotion and marketing to 2 and 3.