Bauer Media has launched seven new radio stations extending from its popular existing brands - KISS, Kerrang! Radio and heat Radio, and a brand-new KISS topical podcast series.
Providing a deeper genre-specific listen or distinctive nostalgic focus, the new launches are aimed at listeners seeking more content from their favourite Bauer stations, with three new KISS online channels - KISS DNCE, KISS Garage and KISS Ibiza; Klassic Kerrang! Radio and Kerrang! Radio Unleashed from Kerrang! Radio; and heat Radio School Disco and heat Radio Soundtracks from heat Radio.
A new podcast from KISS in association with The Prince’s Trust entitled ‘KISS Life: Let’s Talk About’ will also launch, exploring a number of issues that young people face today - from gangs to exam stress. With one episode released monthly over the next 5 months, the podcast will provide advice for young people that are affected by the issues covered, as well as being a chance to showcase ways in which The Prince’s Trust are empowering people to turn their lives around.
Dee Ford CBE, Group Managing Director for Bauer Radio, said:
“Anticipating consumer behaviour informs our content and distribution strategy. It’s exactly what has underpinned the roaring success of KISSTORY. The new digital station launches and KISS podcast provide even greater choice for our audiences who seek more from the brands they love. Creating an even deeper more tailored listening experience, they also provide exciting new opportunities for advertisers seeking highly engaged valuable audiences.”
The new stations are available from their parent brand mobile apps or website, and at planetradio.co.uk.
Digital listening share has increased to 56%, up from 50.2% in Q2 2018, boosted by the growing popularity of smart speakers and listening online and via apps, according to RAJAR Q2 2019 data released today.
Across all platforms digital listening grew by 58.9 million hours or 11.6% year on year. Listening via online and apps grew by 32.3 million hours (or by 34.2%) to now account for 12.5% of all listening and 22% of digital listening. Listening via DAB grew by 23.9 million hours (or by 6.5%) year on year to now account for 38.6% of all listening and 69% of digital listening. Listening via DTV grew by 2.8 million hours (or by 5.9%) year on year to now account for 4.9% of all listening and 8.8% of digital listening.
26% of adults now claim to own a voice activated speaker, and 56.5% of those use the device to listen to live radio. This has boosted online listening in home, which is now the fastest growing platform and location, increasing by 27.7 million hours (or by 44%) year on year to account for 15% of all in home listening.
In car digital listening grew 17.1 million hours or by 20% year on year and reached a new record share of 41.8%.
There was strong growth year on year across digital-only stations with KISSTORY increasing by 14.8% to reach a new record of 2.323 million listeners and become the most popular digital-only station. BBC 6 Music is the leading BBC digital-only station reaching 2.285 million listeners, while BBC Radio 4 Extra grew by 13.1% to reach 2.223 million listeners and BBC Radio 5 Live sports extra grew by 26.5% to reach 1.484 million listeners.
Having increased its reach year on year threefold last quarter, Virgin Radio, in the second quarter since the return of The Chris Evans Breakfast Show, grew by a further 18.8% compared to Q1 2019, to reach 1.545 million listeners.
Further commercial digital-only stations growing strongly year on year include Absolute 80s which grew by 15.8% to reach a new record of 1.779 million listeners; Heart 80s which increased by 27.7% to reach a new record of 1.495 million listeners; Planet Rock which grew by 16% to reach 1.213 million listeners; Mellow Magic which grew by 21.5% to reach 593,000 listeners; and talkRADIO which grew by 31.3% to reach 386,000. On their first RAJAR survey period new commercial digital-only stations Scala Radio and Country Hits Radio recorded 258,000 and 208,000 listeners respectively.
Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, said:
“This is a significant moment for digital radio with a 34% surge in online radio listening hours prompted by the growth of smart speakers. These speakers are now in over 26% of all homes and are good news for the radio sector with most people using them to listen to live radio. Smart speakers also make it easy for people to listen to the increasing range of digital stations and have helped propel the growth of new innovative digital stations such as the new number one digital-only station, KISSTORY.”
Source: RAJAR/Ipsos MORI/RSMB