Ahead of the General Assembly, we speak to Paul Sylvester, Director of Content at Absolute Radio on how Absolute Radio has used DAB to build a new audience. Paul is speaking in Session Three of the General Assembly on Thursday November 10th.
“There is not the space on traditional analogue spectrum to grow your business anymore and DAB is the perfect solution if you want to grow your brand quickly,” said Paul on Absolute Radio’s decision to launch spin-off stations focusing on music from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90 and 00s.
“We launched the strategy as a bid to grow the overall business and we chose decades as it was a place within the radio universe that nobody else was touching. We knew it would have mainstream appeal,” he said.
Launched in 2009, Absolute 80s now entertains more than 1.5 million listeners each week.
“DAB offers you a chance to grow your brand and, while the tech is really crucial, everyone must also understand that content is king,” he stated. “If you don’t understand the audience and engage them with compelling content, then that’s where it will fail. It’s about creating a sense of shared passion and building a sense of excitement and an ongoing conversation.”
In the UK DAB ownership has increased to 57% of all households and digital listening has increased 9% year on year to 45.5%. With 71% of digital listening via DAB, Paul believes that radio remains a key part of our lives. “DAB allows you to simply and easily, using a device that everyone knows and understands, reach as many people as possible, as easily as possible, wherever they are,” he said.
Paul believes the next challenge for the industry is tackling the automotive aftermarket and converting the millions of existing cars to digital radio. “We can still get better at retro fit within the existing car market and, until we can find more solutions at affordable prices, we’ve still got work to do.”
With a theme of “New content, new markets” the General Assembly this year will hear from broadcasters around the world who are using DAB to reach new audiences and develop new products.
“It’s always interesting to see case studies from other stations around the world and how they’re using DAB,” said Paul. “We are already aware of much of the work taking place in Europe so the General Assembly gives us an opportunity to look beyond and see how the world is utilising DAB.”