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LONDON — Bauer Media Audio has launched premium subscription services for its stations in the United Kingdom. These are Scala Radio, Jazz FM, Planet Rock and Kerrang! Radio.
The commercial radio company, part of the family-owned media corporation Bauer, now operates in eight European countries including Sweden, Norway and Denmark, with radio brands including KISS, Mix Megapol, Absolute Radio, Radio Norge, Radio Expres, Radio Nova, The Voice and RMF.
The new service offers live radio with no ad-breaks, in a move described by Bauer as “reinventing radio for music-lovers.” The premium services are available across web, app and supported smart speakers for a free seven-day trial followed by a monthly payment of £3.99 (about €4.65).
Using the service means for the first time, listeners can skip up to six tracks per hour via app and web listening, including on live radio. For premium subscribers, ads are replaced by more music, and if a listener chooses to skip a song, a special list of tracks is available to skip to. When that song has finished, the listener automatically continues in the live radio stream from the beginning of the latest song that has started on-air.
Subscribers also get access to 20 additional online radio stations across genres and music moods, coupled with on-demand shows, documentaries, artist interview content and special programming. These include Foo Fighters and Blink-182 on Kerrang! Radio Premium; Stephen Fry’s Showstoppers, “The Music of James Bond” and “At the Oscars with Anne Dudley” on Scala Radio Premium; AC/DC and Eric Clapton on Planet Rock Premium; and Nina Simone and Gregory Porter on Jazz FM Premium.
Bauer believes that as commercial radio transitions to audio, listeners want experiences which are live, but give the user the opportunity to personalize. “Radio offers music, discovery and a live experience which is central to its enduring appeal,” said Paul Keenan, president of Audio for Bauer Media Audio. “This innovation of premium subscription services responds to insight that identified a desire from music super fans — enormously enthusiastic about their favorite radio brands and broadcast radio — to further explore their music passions.”
Earlier this summer, Bauer Media Audio announced the completion of its acquisition of Communicorp Group in the Republic of Ireland. Communicorp is Ireland’s largest commercial radio group with a weekly audience of more than 1.75 million. The group comprises Ireland’s two national commercial radio stations, Today FM and Newstalk, alongside Spin 1038 and 98FM in Dublin, and SPIN South West in Limerick, as well as digital radio sport station Off The Ball, digital audio exchange audioXI and aggregated listening platform GoLoud.