Capital Radio last week announced the acquisition of youth radio
station Beat 106 for pounds 33.8 million, representing the group’s first
move into Scottish radio.
Beat was created to provide ’dance and new rock’ for Central Scotland’s
18- to 35-year-olds. It received backing from a range of investors, from
Emap Radio to footballer Ally McCoist.
Beat is an eight-month-old station and received its first Rajar figures
in March, which showed a weekly audience of 334,000.
For Beat to be snapped up by a major group like Capital less than a year
after its launch clearly shows it to be an attractive proposition.
A glance at radio across Central Scotland shows a conspicuous absence of
the major radio players. The majority of stations are owned by Scottish
Radio Holdings (SRH) and it is only recently that Kelvin Mackenzie’s
Wireless Group moved north of the border with the purchase of the
Independent Radio Group. Strangely, Emap and GWR are not to be found in
The above chart shows the regional stations in Central Scotland that
have a Rajar audience figure. Of the 14, ten are owned by SRH, including
Clyde FM, which has the largest audience of the set. Beat has the fourth
largest weekly audience in the area and can potentially reach 60 per
cent of the Scottish population, including the key cities of Edinburgh
Beat will allow Capital to increase its potential audience in the UK to
58 per cent of the adult population and provide the group with a
Scottish base from which to operate its digital Xfm stations.
Beat’s young audience of 2.6 million is also particularly attractive to
It is perhaps surprising that Capital is one of the first key UK radio
operators to move into Scotland. Research shows personal disposable
income in Scotland is the highest in Britain outside London and the
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