Absolute Radio has joined the three largest commercial radio operators and the BBC by taking a seat at the board of Digital Radio UK.
The group, which has one of the three national analogue commercial radio licences, has launched six digital-only stations in the last two years.
It means that ‘Absolute’ is now the UK’s number one commercial digital radio brand with 2.2m listeners on digital radio – followed by Heart and capital with 1.9m each, Classic FM with 1.7m and Magic with 1.6m. In total, 71% of Absolute’s radio listening is via digital platforms.
Absolute joins the founding shareholders of Digital Radio UK – the BBC, Global, Bauer, GMG and Digital One multiplex owners Arqiva.
As well as its main Absolute Radio station – the only one of the group’s stations to also be available on analogue radio – Absolute has Absolute Radio 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s, and Absolute Radio Extra, which features exclusive Premiership Football coverage and live events. It also has Absolute Classic Rock, which existed under the Virgin Radio brand before the takeover by TIML.
Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, said: “Absolute Radio is a massive supporter of digital radio and brings unique digital experience and capabilities to our Board. I am confident they will help us accelerate the digital transition, thereby enabling Government to confirm a future digital radio switchover.”
Donnach O’Driscoll, CEO of Absolute Radio, said: “We are joining the Digital Radio UK Board at such an important time in the development of digital radio in the UK. It’s all about in-car digital progress now and we think this is the time for the radio industry to come together to further secure our digital future.”