Commercial radio stations• Most commercial radio stations serve a local orregional area and are owned by one of three biggroups which dominate the sector.• There are three national commercial stationsbroadcasting using FM, which are; Absolute Radio,Classic FM and talkSPORT are examples ofcommercial radio in the UK.• Funded by advertisement companies who buyairtime from the station.
Absolute radio• Absolute Radio is one of the UKs three IndependentNational Radio stations.• Was called ‘Virgin Radio’ from 1993-2008.• Based in London.• Mainly play popular Rock music.• Play music from the 60’s to the 00’s.
Public service broadcasting• Receive funding from diverse sources, forexample; license fees, individualcontributions, and public financing.• Includes radio, television and other electronicmedia outlets whose primary mission is publicservice.• May be operated nationally or locally.
BBC Radio• BBC Radio 1- Contemporary pop and rock music, interviews, news andlive music. Broadcasts the UK top 40 singles of the week every Sunday.• BBC Radio 2- Mixture of old, new and alternative programming, music,news, comedy and live music sessions.• BBC Radio 3- Classical and Jazz music, news and live music. IncludesBBC Proms and fictional dramas.• BBC Radio 4- Speech based news, current affairs and factual network,comedy and drama.• BBC Radio 5- Sport, weekly news and talk programmes.• BBC Radio 6- Music based. Features up and coming alternative musicand music from past generations and cultures. Plus News.• BBC Radio 7- Speech based. Comedy, drama, factual and readings.• BBC Radio Nations & Locals- Speech based service of news,information and debate to urban and rural communities. Also involvesmusic.
Community/Non-for-profit radiostations• Community radio is a type of radio servicewhich does not have any adverts.• Funded by investors.• Run by volunteers.• Influenced, owned by and operated in thecommunity they serve.
K2K Radio• K2K radio is a new online community radio station.• Based in South Kilburn.• Cater to diverse music tastes.• They run radio production courses and workshops, tobring people in the area together.I have attended some of their workshops and throughthis I have been able to create a monthly hour longradio show with a friend, which has been reallyuseful for the radio unit I have been studying for mycourse.
Personal preferences• I enjoy listening to Capital FM (95.8), Kiss (100.0),Heart (100.7), Magic (105.4), Absolute 80’s andLondon Greek Radio (103.3). I listen to the radioevery week, whilst in the shower, the car or thekitchen. These radio stations play a variety ofpopular hits from around the world.• Ive loved 80’s music since I was a child, so Absolute80’s gives me the chance to listen to old songs whichI havent heard in years, and might not be able tofind on the internet.• I also like to tune into London’s Greek radio fromtime to time because I like to get in touch with myGreek roots and listen to something different.
Strengths and weaknesses of broadcast andnon-broadcast radio stationsBroadcast radio stations mainly broadcast one type of sound, as theyserve larger audiences with a specific music taste, whereas non-broadcast radio stations are well suited for a niche audience becausethey serve communities with a diverse music taste, and are able tocater for a variety of different people.Community radio stations are a lot more flexible and tend to be muchmore willing to play music from up and coming artists and non-mainstream artists than commercial radio, it may be the only sector ofradio in which some genres of music get played regularly. Commercialradios need their number of listeners to be consistent, so they playmusic by established artists who are selling well nationally and whoare regularly in the press.
Which audiences prefer whichstations and why?• Majority of radio stations are purely forentertainment, which are aimed at the youngergeneration, whereas others are purely talk-based asthey aim to attract an older age group.• The most commercially successful stations targetyoung audiences, as they play popular chart music thattheir target audience listen to and update listenerswith the latest news and gossip.• Radio stations such as BBC Radio 3 appeals to all agegroups over 35, as the programmes cover theirlisteners interests.
What makes one station betterthan another?• To make a good radio station, you need a presenterwith a captivating personality who can build arelationship with listeners.• You also need a balance of good music, interestingtalk/banter and news.• Radio stations which have a niche audience arebetter because they can cater more specifically forpeople.• Non-broadcast radio programmes are recorded andput online so people have a chance to listen to themif they miss it.
Employment in the radio sector22,800 are employed in the radio industry.The industry consists of around 350 organisations and 25%of companies have more than 20 people working for them.Radio has a highly skilled and well qualified workforce ofwhich almost two thirds are graduates.About a quarter of the workforce are freelance or employedon contracts of less than a year.58% of freelancers hold graduate qualifications, comparedto 66% of employees in the industry.It is not essential to have a degree in media studies to workin radio, however it may be good to have in any other mediarelated job.
New technologiesThe radio industry is undergoing a digital revolution,the BBC and commercial radios are doing a varietyof things to improve their stations.They have made radio accessible via the internetand digital TV so that people are able to listen toradio wherever they go.