Bauer Media has launched a premium version of its Greatest Hits Radio station, just in case any Ken Bruce fans are considering following the long-time Radio 2 presenter over to the commercial station, but can’t face the thought of having to listen to a load of terrible radio ads.
Like the premium packages already available for other Bauer radio brands Absolute and Kiss, listeners who pay £3.99 a month will be able to tune into Greatest Hits Radio without any ads.
They can also skip any hits that get played which, despite the promise in the station’s name, turn out not to be the greatest after all. Well, they can do that six times an hour. They just have to hope all the other tracks really are great.
And on top of that, subscribers have access to some extra stations which go by the names of Good Times Anthems, Greatest Hits Of The 70s, Greatest Hits Of The 80s and Greatest Hits Of The 90s. Oh, and there’s also one called Simon Mayo’s Album Tracks, which basically turns Mayo’s weekend album-centric show for the station into its own channel.
Mayo, who also hosts drivetime on GHR, announced on Twitter yesterday: “Greatest Hits Radio Premium is a very lovely thing indeed. It’s GHR with no ads, plus a whole bunch of extra stations including one devoted to album tracks. If you enjoy the Sunday album show, this could be for you. Anyway, it’s shiny and fabulous! Give it a try!”
In April, Mayo will be joined at GHR by his former Radio 2 colleague Ken Bruce, with Bauer presumably hoping that that will persuade some of the BBC station’s audience to switch over.
And especially older listeners who are annoyed that many of the longer serving DJs at Radio 2 are departing as it tries to refresh its schedules in order to better appeal to the younger end of its target demographic.
Actually, when big names at the BBC stations shift over to commercial radio, while they do take some of their listeners with them, that listener shift isn’t usually anywhere near as big as you might expect.
Though maybe if there’s an option to remove the ads on the commercial station, it makes shifting more attractive. Though, I guess the question is: “£3.99 a month attractive?”
Commenting on the launch of a premium package around the brand which his company has been expanding most prolifically in recent years, Bauer Media Audio UK COO Graham Bryce says: “At Bauer, we pride ourselves on truly understanding our audiences and constantly innovating to ensure we deliver high quality content – whenever and however our listeners want it”.
“We’re THRILLED to be able to launch this premium service for Greatest Hits Radio”, he adds, “delivering our listeners new content and new levels of control in a way no other company in the UK is offering right now”.