Commercial radio licences were first issued in the UK in the early 1970’s. Independent Local Radio (ILR) as it was known opened the door to hundreds of local stations broadcasting to their local area. It wasn’t till the early 90’s that the first national commercial launched – Classic FM in 1992.


Local radio has always been relevant to, and trusted by, loyal listeners and the sector has flourished for many years, from the days of independent stations and owners to the very different climate we see today. Station ownership has consolidated and there are now two dominant players: Bauer and Global. DAB digital radio has enabled the broadcasters to reach a national audience for the first time and that saw the rise of mega brands such as Capital, Kiss, Magic, Smooth and so on, creating fresh opportunities for advertisers, far beyond the traditional local ad. The rise of national radio brands has meant that the big two owners have been changing their local FM station names and music profile to be an extension of the brand across the UK. There are Heart, Capital and Hits brand stations in practically every region of the UK now.

Radio has become big time.

Used strategically, radio can be an agile activation medium getting tactical offers on air quickly and building frequency. You can run your best deal on TV but radio can be used to expand the range of tactical offers promoted flexibly across the country, delivering very cost-efficient frequency in comparison to TV cost per thousands.

Radio now delivers far beyond the 30 sec spot ad. Longer ads, sponsorship, branded content and innovative digital solutions increasingly provide advertisers with new and more creative ways to get their message to potential markets and customers. Digital developments have led to a huge rise in podcasts and audio streaming through apps and voice-controlled devices like Alexa. The advent of platforms like Spotify and digital audio exchanges (such as Global’s DAX) allow advertisers and agencies to target super-specific audiences based on their gender, age range or preferred music and interest genres.

Using industry planning tools, our media agency team seek out the most cost-efficient mix of radio channels to reach your target audience however they may be listening. Our recommendations might include standard spot advertising, promotions with a radio station or sponsorship of a particular show or strand (traffic, travel and weather for example).

No question, we’re pro-radio at The Lane.

One of our favourite examples is the radio campaign we devised for the Usher Halls Sunday Classics concert programme. We ran a Scotland-only partnership on Classic FM’s weekend afternoon shows over a six month period with the tags changing to promote different concerts coming up. This cost under £500 per weekend and reached an engaged classical music-loving audience. The result was a marked increase in concert ticket sales and a further radio campaign was briefed the following year.


Contact Us

Give us a call, or complete the form. We’ll put the kettle on and by the time you get here we’ll already be thinking about your business.

+44 (0)131 551 7777