Virgin Radio Groove, a new addition to the Virgin Radio network, officially launched this morning with an all-day takeover of Virgin Radio, kicking off on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky.
Targeted at 30-45 year olds, Virgin Radio Groove focuses on rhythmic pop with a playlist featuring Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, Rihanna and David Guetta, and programming includes The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky from 6.30am, followed by Chris Brooks (10am-2pm), Steve Denyer (2pm-6pm) and Bam (6pm-10pm).
Mike Cass, Content Director for Virgin Radio, said:
"We had a phenomenal 2019 with Chris Evans back in the fold and the launch of two stonking new digital stations, Virgin Radio Anthems and Virgin Radio Chilled. The launch of Virgin Radio Groove highlights Wireless’ confidence in the Virgin Radio offering. It’s a sensational station and that will no doubt fast become the go-to destination for music to make you move.”
The launch of Virgin Radio Groove comes as The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky celebrates their first birthday on air. Marking the occasion Chris Evans said:
"This time last year I returned to my spiritual home at Virgin Radio and I have loved every minute of it since then. We instantly changed commercial radio forever - creating the first ad-break free breakfast show, thanks to our partnership with Sky. We are delighted with the listening figures and our numbers have continued to grow every month. Over the next year our plan for the breakfast show is simple; to continue to give it all we’ve got and have the most possible fun along the way."
Virgin Radio Groove is available on smart speaker, on the Virgin Radio app, online at virginradio.co.uk and on DAB+ in London and DAB in Central Scotland,
Virgin Radio Groove joins Virgin Radio Anthems with guitar-led classics from the 60s to the 90s and Virgin Radio Chilled with a laid-back repertoire of singer-songwriters.
The Virgin Radio network (including Virgin Radio, Virgin Radio Anthems and Virgin Radio Chilled) now reaches 1.64m (up 303% year-on-year), delivering 9.2m hours (up 508% year-on-year).
2019 was a record year for DAB in new vehicles with 2.38 million new cars and commercial vehicles hitting the road fitted with DAB digital radio as standard, according to new data from industry analysts CAP and The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) for Q4 2019 released today.
DAB in new car registrations rose to a record 95% of all new cars in Q4 2019, while DAB in new commercial vehicles increased to a record of over 64%. This means that for the full year of 2019 there were 2.15 million new cars and 232,600 new commercial vehicles fitted with DAB as standard.
Ten years ago (Q4 2010), the percentage of new cars with DAB as standard was only 4% and grew over the proceeding 5 years to 61% by Q4 2015, and now to 95%, with vehicle manufacturers fitting digital radio in new cars in response to the transformation of the availability and choice of DAB digital radio stations.
The DAB radios in new cars and commercial vehicles, which are also DAB+ compatible, enable drivers to enjoy the full range of national and local digital stations in their cars, including the nineteen national commercial radio stations now broadcast in DAB+.
The increase of DAB in new cars to 95% represents significant progress and is a major contributor to the growth in digital listening in the UK. In the most recent radio listening data (RAJAR Q3 2019), digital listening in car reached a new record of 42.2% of all in car radio listening, growing by 15.2 million hours, and accounted for over 60% of total digital listening hourly growth (Source: RAJAR/Ipsos MORI/RSMB).
Last year, the UK Government consulted on plans to implement the EU Directive (EECC) mandating the installation of broadcast digital radio in new cars, and the Government will confirm their proposals this year. If the Directive is introduced into UK law in 2020, in line with other EU countries, manufacturers of the final 5% of new cars will be required to fit digital radio as standard.
Ford Ennals, CEO, Digital Radio UK, said:
"It’s great news for UK radio and drivers that 2.38 million more vehicles are now on the road with access to over 50 national digital stations, plus hundreds of local digital stations. The growth of the availability of DAB in new cars from less than 5% ten years ago to now nearly 95%, is a sign of how far DAB digital radio has come, thanks to the massive support of vehicle manufacturers and the SMMT. We can look forward to DAB in new cars continuing to drive the growth of digital radio listening in the UK through this decade.”
(Source: CAP/SMMT Q4 2019)