Hyper-Local Radio is about to change and it is 100% Digital.
Local TV Group launches a unique alternative to local radio for counties, towns and cities across the UK…
Local TV Group, a London based company owned by View TV Group is planning full 360 coverage of local media, providing every town and city with editorial news, a digital newspaper, a local radio station and a local TV station available on all digital and mobile devices, for each area.
This new service will overcome many current outdated obstacles and provide a sustainable profitable revenue model.
Local radio is certainly not a new concept, the UKs communication regulator OFCOM has been granting licences since it was started in 2001.
Ofcom announced changes to local radio licensing regulations in Qtr1 of 2019 to reduce the amount of locally produced programmes needed. The licencing requirements went from stations needing a minimum of 7 hours of local content per day between the hours of 6am – 7pm to a minimum of 3 hours with enhanced ‘local’ news.
‘Enhanced’ local news bulletins require at the very least one fully-formed hyper-local news story included every hour. The ‘local regions’ also expanded and the implementation of larger ‘approved areas’ meant that even the ‘local’ shows that remained were reduced significantly.
Global Radio were the first to implement these changes with the networking of their Capital, Heart and Smooth breakfast shows and their largest competitors, Bauer Radio quickly followed suit.
Replacing local voices with London-based presenters will be a terrible loss to communities across the country.
Another obstacle facing local radio is how audience figures are gathered. There is currently only one third-party measurement system that covers the audio market – Radio Joint Audience Research (RAJAR), which is funded by the commercial radio sector and the BBC.
RAJAR captures data by using a polling agency such as those that predict the result of general elections. They select a range of people and give them diaries to complete on each week of the year with 100,000 individuals being surveyed each year. These individuals record their live radio listening for one week in the diary. The result is extrapolated to provide an estimate of how many people are listening to any particular station – for the entire country!
RAJAR has 300 Ofcom licensed stations (55 of them BBC) with the smallest being surveyed on an area of over 50,000 adults. This means that, if within any licensed area if none of those people completing a diary listens to a specific station, the collected results by the polling organisation is that no-one in the licensed area is listening to it, which may not be the case at all.
With RAJAR sticking to existing measures of the diary method and sample size it means that smaller stations rarely get surveyed, which only further highlights the existing blind-spot and inefficiencies to effectively measure the audio market.
Coupled with the exponential explosion within the audio market and the variety of streaming platforms available we have to ask the question… is RAJAR still fit for purpose?
CEO of View TV Group, Jamie Branson, said, “RAJAR has for far too long used an outdated model to hear what the nation wants to listen to and that penalises small and/or unique voices and music that cannot then attract advertising revenue as, advertisers use RAJAR results to buy advertising space. New media and listening while mobile are in the ascendant and a measurement system that is fair for everyone and fits in with modern life is needed.”
After consulting with various local broadcasters, View TV Group have created the Local TV Group platform that resolves the issues that RAJAR and Ofcom are failing to accept and resolve, by going ‘Over The Top’ (OTT) of traditional services to provide a regulated and efficient alternative.
This alternative will provide audience listening measurements exponentially more accurate than RAJAR’s and will cost 10 times less than traditional broadcast methods, to enable making profit a reality from day 1 of broadcasting.
OTT services deliver TV and media through public internet rather than a private network and allows Local TV Group to deliver bespoke advertising and content to each user – uniquely.
OTT measures listening figures accurately as every user request is registered centrally, which produces live listening statistics.
Local TV Group plans on broadcasting at county level, each with a reach of more than 1 million people and with a plan to break this down further to large towns and cities.
Each area will be able to sell advertising across 3 media outlets – editorial, radio and on local TV, which will include video on demand and a catch-up service.
What makes the Local TV Groups plans truly unique, is that it can sell ads to local businesses that are able to be placed within the ad breaks of other TV channels being watched in the local area on the same Local TV Group platform.
This means that local areas have a more sustainable advertising inventory to sell and do not have to wait for their channel to gain an audience before they see revenue.
Local adverts appearing across radio, editorial and in the commercial breaks of huge national shows is an exciting prospect – yes, you could see your local Chinese Takeaway appearing in the ad break for your favourite Soap!
Using the latest OTT software and an ebay style auction solution, Local TV Group allows advert breaks in TV, radio and video to be replaced with highest value ads automatically. The ads are higher than normal value as they are targeted. If you are watching the same programme as your neighbour, you will each see different ads because they have targeted your device, location and time of day.
Radio is not dead it just needs to embrace the new technology and stop holding on to the past.
Local TV Group is offering the service to towns and cities and can be taken up by anyone who feels that they could run a small media business. It will run on a simple revenue share solution without any capital spend via a license agreement.
Not only will Local TV Group provide accurate audience figures, but all of its content will be available in 1080 HD or 4k quality, unlike the traditional SD signals on freeview and sky, which has 4 times less definition.
The service will have national content to provide credibility and reduce the pressure on producing hours of content locally.
100% of all unsold local advertising spots within advertising breaks will be filled with paying national advertisements. As an example of the business opportunity the service will provide, if there was a regular 20,000 people watching for an hour a day, this would provide the channel with more than £100,000 per month in ad revenue alone with many other different revenue streams available.
All details will be handled by View TV Group at their headquarters near London and the service will be available via mobile, tablet and smart TV device apps in February 2020.
View TV Group is looking to recruit counties, cities and towns – now, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.