CEO Today - May 2022

What is BoomRadio and what inspired you to start the business? My business partner, David Lloyd, is one of commercial radio’s pre-eminent programmers, and it was his notion that BBC Radio 2 were creating a gap in the market by moving to a younger demographic to target everyone aged over 35. He asked me if I thought that presented us with a business opportunity to target older listeners like us. I did a financial projection that supported the idea. That initial email from David to me was in July 2020 at the end of the first lockdown. We were raising money by October! We created Boom Radio as a commercial radio station aimed at the Baby Boomer generation (those born between 1946 and 1964). We launched in February 2021 and now broadcast across the UK on DAB, online and on smart speakers. “Alexa, play Boom Radio” works fine. We are a mix of music and chat, with a presenter line-up that includes David Hamilton (ex BBCR1/R2), Graham Dene (ex Capital, Smooth), David Jensen (ex Luxemburg, BBCR1) and many other Baby Boomer presenters. Our target audience are those 60 and 70 somethings who have become disillusioned with BBC Radio 2. Our music mix is unique for commercial radio — being both broad in era (we range from the 50s to today, but most music is from the 60s and 70s) and having a depth of catalogue. We don’t just play the biggest hits from our core artists, we go quite deep into their music heritage. In some senses, we are a mix of the pirate radio stations, the start of BBCR1/R2, and the early commercial stations –— and our listeners have really responded. Already, our recorded “time spent listening” places us at the top of the commercial radio rajar rankings! Boom Radio is a year old — how have you grown the business in such a competitive industry and what impact has it had on the market? We only raised funds from friends and colleagues - and even then, only from people in the media business who knewwhat they were getting into and who could also provide us with help and expertise from time to time. We deliberately didn’t ask any of the big industry groups to back us so we could run the business independently. That does mean, however, that we don’t have deep pockets, which in turn means we’ve had to be canny on how we marshal our marketing resources. We’ve done a lot of media partnerships and spent a little on targeted TV. Our main focus though has been on PR and social media. As two-thirds of those over 60 are on Facebook, we can target them pretty effectively. The net result of all this is almost 400,000 listeners tuning in every month—a great start and way beyond our expectations. the ceo interview

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