Radio passions shared at Tuning In Midlands

An audience of radio, media and advertising industry professionals heard from popstar Jamelia and Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street about their passions for radio at Radiocentre’s autumn conference, Tuning In Midlands recently.

Held at Birmingham’s Everyman Cinema, the event welcomed over 120 delegates for a networking breakfast and to hear from nine speakers on a range of topics from radio’s record reach and high levels of audience trust, to innovations in voice-technology and binaural 3D audio.

Opening the event, Radiocentre’s Chief Executive Siobhan Kenny celebrated 90% of the UK population tuning in to radio every week, and shared the picture more locally saying that Midlands’ audience have access to 77 commercial radio stations reaching a combined audience of over 4.6 million listeners.

Radiocentre’s External Affairs Manager Michael Ireland went onto share new research into UK audience’s consumption of news throughout the day, specifically in times of local and national disasters. The research, which will be revealed in full in November, shows that in times of local emergency, people rely on local radio for news coverage ahead of any other media.

The research also reveals that radio enjoys the highest level of trust for national news stories: 77% trusting what they hear, ahead of 74% for TV and just 15% for social media.

The audience also heard from Radiocentre’s Client Director Lucy Barrett on the work Radiocentre does inspiring advertisers to see radio differently and from Global’s Regional Creative Director Simon Forster who gave a demonstration of binaural sound. Radiocentre’s Planning Director and Radioplayer’s MD Michael Hill shared recent research project Getting Vocal.

After a coffee break, the audience heard from popstar Jamelia, who was interview by Heart West Midlands’ breakfast show presenter Ed James. Appearing just a day after announcing she was pregnant with her third child, the Birmingham-born singer said that the role radio plays for artists is as important now as ever.

“I think radio is the first port of call, it’s very important”, she said. “The kids listen to the radio, that’s how they are introduced to music and I think it’s just so important. For me, I remember going around to all the radio stations and I absolutely loved it. It was very important, it was how you set the foundation for yourself as an artist and got your name out there got your songs out there.”

The morning event was rounded-off by the first elected Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street. He revealed an obsession with radio growing up in Birmingham. “Those of you who shared that Birmingham youth can probably imagine what I’m about to say. This was BRMB city, it was the first heyday of commercial radio and my childhood heroes were the BRMB jocks. I honestly think the role of the radio as the connected voice is still as strong today as it was then. Despite all the progress of TV and social media, it is still radio that is really authentic voice.” Before his election, Street spent ten years as Managing Director of John Lewis and spoke about the role of radio advertising for the brand.

Radiocentre run a number of conference around the UK each year, with details announced at

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