GWR today unveiled the identity of its two new UK digital radio
stations, Planet Rock and Core.
Planet Rock and Core are the first commercial radio channels in Europe
to go on air using digital technology. They will broadcast on the
Digital One multiplex, also set to carry Classic FM, Virgin and Talk
Radio from 15 November. At the same time, the new stations will be
launched on Astra satellite as well as an on a website.
Opus, the sales house owned by GWR, will sell airtime on the new
It is currently discussing sponsorship deals with several possible
Planet Rock will target 35- to 54-year-old classic rock fans with a
playlist ranging from Led Zeppelin to the Steve Miller Band. ’This
station is not for the long-haired greasy bikers, because the ex-rock
festival goers are now executives driving around in BMWs and are the
sort of people who can afford to invest in digital.’ said Russell
Stuart, managing director of GWR Digital Services.
Core, a teenage pop station, is hoping to attack Radio 1’s audience,
described as ’a promiscuous audience, keen to experiment with new
It will target young female listeners with chart hits and mainstream
dance music. Stuart said it was time for a head-on attack of Radio 1.
Core also hopes to challenge Galaxy FM, Kiss FM and a number of pirate
Stuart also confirmed that GWR is on the verge of signing up with
SkyView and other major cable and satellite providers to carry the
’Interactive television offers another method of communication to an
instant captive audience. All you need to do is click on your electronic
programme guide to listen to digital. Sky won’t give the same clarity
received via a digital set, but we can certainly use it as a consumer
hook for early adopters,’ Stuart said.
The GWR group is prepared to spend pounds 12 million over the next six
years to encourage the consumer uptake of digital radio. ’We will spend
millions per year on marketing, but we don’t expect to make a profit for
the next five years. We are playing a long-term game here and need to
treat digital as an investment for the future,’ Stuart said.
GWR is promoting the new brands on all its FM stations.