UKRD has revealed research into what people think of local radio and all but one said it’s important to be locally based.
“Yes!” was the answer to the question ‘Is it a good thing that a local radio station is based in the area it broadcasts to?’.
Dave Coull, the Group’s Content Director, confirmed that respondents had agreed that it was important that a radio station was based in the area it broadcasts to. “Except one, all 1,753 surveyed agreed,” he said. “If you genuinely want to produce proper local radio our listeners believe it’s better to be based in the area you serve” said Coull.
William Rogers, the Group’s Chief Executive, who announced the launch of Local Radio Day just ten days ago, said that the presence of a local station within the area it broadcasts to is clearly something local listener’s value because “they’ve made it clear that’s what they think.”
“Listeners are telling us that they want their local radio station to attend community events and address local issues” said Rogers. “When you couple that with 92% of respondents confirming they’d even campaign to save their local radio station should it be under threat of closure, the results are even more conclusive.”
Whilst the FM frequency continues to be the most popular platform for local radio by some margin, the need for it to be available across multiple platforms was also clear. The research confirmed that many listeners now listen to their local radio station on a variety of digital platforms including DAB, mobile app and online.
The importance of local news was highlighted in the research with 88% of respondents describing it as either extremely important or important to them. Where listeners get their local news from was also clarified. Those surveyed confirmed they are twice as likely to get their local news from their local radio station, whether that be on-air or online, as they were from local newspapers (all platforms) and regional TV (all platforms) combined.
“Whether it is the local news or the weather, having that content produced in the area it broadcasts to increases the likelihood that it will be correct, locally relevant and truly reflective of the location it is meant for,” Coull said.
On the 27th May some 40 local radio stations will be celebrating Local Radio Day, an initiative that will see events, tours and community events all focused on representing “proper local radio” and the impact it has on the communities it serves. “If other local radio stations would like to get involved we’d be delighted to hear from them” said Rogers.
Most of UKRD’s 16 (soon to be 15) local radio station are based in the area they cover,