Opus unveils plan for selling digital radio

Opus is to create a new radio sales house to sell airtime across the burgeoning digital radio platform.

Opus is to create a new radio sales house to sell airtime across

the burgeoning digital radio platform.



Opus is part of the GWR group and has a 63 per cent stake in Digital

One, the licence holder for the ten new digital stations. It will sell

at least three of them including Classic FM and GWR’s new classic rock

channel.



Opus is also expected to sell airtime on the new 24-hour news service,

which will almost certainly be provided by ITN. This will be confirmed

at the end of this month, along with the brand names, marketing and

positioning of the new channels.



Digital channels on the network that have yet to be confirmed include a

dance music channel, a plays, books and comedy channel (expected to come

from Channel 4), an adult contemporary channel and Talk Sport, the

24-hour sports channel.



Virgin, Classic FM and Talk Radio had their analogue licences

automatically renewed by the Radio Authority when they took up places on

the network. All three will officially roll out on the digital airwaves

on 15 November.



Classic FM will continue to be sold through Opus, Talk Radio will use

Impact - which will be launched at the end of this month - and Virgin

will continue to use its in-house sales team.



Although Digital One envisages using one sovereign sales house to sell

across most of its channels, this will be less likely across the bigger,

more established stations.



Digital One’s chief executive Quentin Howard said: ’Selling digital

airtime is an educational process when it comes to deciding on the

different approaches to selling digital radio. This is the right time

for sales people to secure sponsorship deals and start building

relationships with clients and agencies.’



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