Kisstory to replace Absolute 90s on Digital One

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Bauer is taking Absolute Radio 90s off the D1 national DAB multiplex again after just a year, and replacing it with Kisstory.

The 90s station was available on Digital One from August 2010 until January 2015 when it was replaced by Magic. It was then available on local multiplexes only for three years until its national return this time last year.

Absolute Radio 90s will now move to the Sound Digital (SDL / D2) multiplex, which has around 83% coverage of the UK. The station is currently telling listeners to retune their radios from 4th February to carry on receiving it.

A Bauer spokesperson told RadioToday: “90s is moving onto the Sound Digital owned national multiplex D2 and KISSTORY will move into D1. KISSTORY has grown by 65% in three years, and its hours by 93%. We believe there is further growth to come as more audiences migrate to digital platforms following significant and exciting investments by the commercial radio industry in new stations, talent and distribution.”

The Kisstory station started life as an online service in 2013 before being added to local DAB multiplexes, and then the national SDL mux when it launched in 2016.

Kisstory has a weekly reach of 2.1m according to the latest (Q3/18) RAJAR figures, compared with Absolute Radio 90s’ highest ever reach of 913,000 in the same period.

RadioToday’s take

This is an interesting move as we await news of the distribution plan for the new Scala Radio. When we heard about Absolute Radio 90s’ move from D1 we immediately presumed Scala would replace it – so Kisstory arriving is something of a surprise. Unless, of course, DAB+ will be utilised to enable two stereo services to take the capacity currently used by 90s on D1. There are currently no DAB+ stations on Digital One, but RadioToday understands work has been going on to enable the technology to be utilised.

We also don’t yet know what bitrate Absolute Radio 90s will broadcast in on SDL – Kisstory was at 80 kbit/s mono in regular flavour DAB. If 90s goes stereo in DAB+ it would mean there’s space for another national Bauer service on SDL as well.

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12 Comments
  1. DiandalScotland says

    Just when you think what’s going to happen, Bauer go and do something else.
    I assumed Scala and the new not mentioned yet Country Hits Radio would go on SDL dab+ but putting Kisstory on D1 over Scala is strange unless as you say both going on dab+ or is Scala taking Kisstorys place on local muxes?

    1. Djura says

      Kisstory is on SDL not on local muxes.

  2. simon jones says

    we need different radio stations on dab radio with different music. soul, jazz ,blues , rock etc

    1. Michael V says

      Hey Simon. I agree. While I love house music [I listen to online station, This is electric] I do think we need more variety. I live in South East Wales & there is a radio station called SoulTrain Radio on the Bristol
      DAB multiplex. But these need to be more of a national service. Let’s keep hoping we see more eventually. I think Bauer need to get Karrang back on DAB for the real rock music lovers.

  3. Dendrick Snugglechunk says

    I’d say I was surprised, but it’s Bauer who haven’t had a flipping clue what to do with any of their brands are seem to be hell bent on confusing listeners.

  4. Radio Geordie says

    As Absolute & Kisstory both broadcast at 80kbps and that more people are listening to Kisstory, it makes more sense to put Kisstory on the D1 platform which covers a larger area.
    Its simple maths – If you increase your coverage area, your potential audience can grow.

  5. Lee Jackson says

    I think an additional radio station will be Country Hits Radio similar to other recent Bauer station rebranding. Perhaps a rebranding of Downtown Country, or a syndicated version. I hope it would include an American country music show, possibly an American Country Chart show.

  6. Ron Dobbyn says

    If we are getting a country station, then give drive time to Randell Lee Rose, his Country 1035 drive show was brilliant, and very funny.

  7. Neil says

    DAB is such dated technology,just buy a hi-fi receiver and connect a pc or mobile phone and get 320k ot flac lossless.

    1. Mr Boltar says

      Thats fine if you have wifi, otherwise you pay for the data. Thanks, but I’ll stick to braodcast radio for now.

  8. Ron Dobbyn says

    Another Country singer / Broadcaster from the UK that would be great on a country station is Ronnie Cannon , he is on you tube with ” Ronnie Cannon Sings”

  9. Alan says

    I think Bauer should get there own radio station themselves huge mistake yet again.

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