Thursday, January 29, 2009

Absolute accuracy

If yesterday's pre-Rajar announcement that Absolute was expecting a ten-to-fifteen per cent drop in audience was supposed to manage expectations down, they perhaps didn't go far enough. Audiences are twenty per cent down on what they were before.

Brave faces all round, people:

The Absolute chief operating officer Clive Dickens, who blamed the drop on listener confusion over the station's new name, said: "Absolute Radio has had just 15 weeks to sink into the nation's ears.

"When Oasis were 15 weeks old they told everyone they were going to be one of the biggest bands in the world. Fifteen years on, now look at them. We have the same aspirations."

Hmm. When Bagsy The Magic Spanner were 15 weeks old, they told everyone they were going to be one of the biggest bands in the world. So did Combine Thresher. And Explore The Big Teapot. And the thing is, Absolute isn't fifteen weeks old. It's an old, old radio station that just happens to have a different name. And if the rebrand has cost you one out of five of your audience, then it's a rebrand you've failed to carry off successfully. Making empty Gallagher-like noises about how you're going to be the Oasis of the Radio Industry can't really disguise the terrible sink the network is in.

Also interesting from the latest batch of audience numbers: Chris Moyles audience is more-or-less the same as it was this time last year, raising the intriguing possibility that he's at the natural limits of his attraction.


5 comments:

robin carmody said...

Are Oasis one of the biggest bands in the world *now*? Even in Britain, their status is greatly diminished.

The truth about Absolute Radio is that it is hampered by a) being on medium wave, and a really really bad medium wave frequency at that, outside London, and b) the fact that DAB hasn't taken off as intended. The introduction of national commercial radio was so badly managed, with so little thought for the future (even by British standards), that it almost defies description.

simon h b said...

Robin, while I agree that the botching of Independent National Radio was a problem, it's not as if these problems have come into being after Virgin became Absolute. I suppose the management wouldn't want to use phrases like "our new owners have taken on the decline management of a deflating service", but that would seem to be where they are.

Spot on with the Oasis, mind.

Anonymous said...

I can't help thinking that Absolute's advertising campaign, which seemed to imply that if you didn't like the Kaiser Chiefs you were some kind of pathetic old loser who wasn't fit to listen to their super cool radio station, may not have helped matters either.

Olive said...

Hmm. When Bagsy The Magic Spanner were 15 weeks old, they told everyone they were going to be one of the biggest bands in the world.

I liked their early stuff.

simon h b said...

By the time they were playing the Falcon, they'd started to go off the boil.

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