Saturday, 5 October 2013
Goodbye Smooth Radio 70s
In the early hours of Sunday morning, decades station Smooth Radio 70s will be replaced by a test transmission of Global Radio's new spin-off station Capital XTRA aimed at younger audiences.
GMG started experimenting with spin-off brands on DAB with the novelty format Smooth Christmas, which then led to the launch of Smooth 70s on December 27th 2011. Less than two years later and after acquiring a total audience of 730,000 listeners to add to Smooth Radio's total brand audience, it'll be a part of digital radio history.
Unlike the main station under GMG, this was a focused product which played a broad playlist, those which anoraks and musos love, this despite being broadcast at 80 kbps mono on DAB.
I was at first very critical of the format, as it launched after Absolute Radio launched it's own 70s decade station earlier in 2011, yet like all good things, I doubt the station ever made money, so would be a drain on resources.
If you consider it from Global's point of view, they have two slots on Digital One acquired from the acquisition of Real & Smooth Limited, both serving the over 50s. Sadly, it's a fact that younger listeners despite using other ways to listen to music are still the most attractive to advertisers. Capital XTRA gives Global a national platform to attract listeners from Kiss and 1Xtra who playlist similar dance and urban music on the same digital platform.
Once Smooth 70s closes, there's still Absolute Radio 70s on DAB in London and online, however it is more rock focused due to the Absolute brand values. This station and it's parent Absolute Radio are currently in the middle of being acquired by Bauer Radio who may use the space on DAB for other uses instead. There are other online stations providing 70s music all day long. Some of which have promoted themselves on Digital Spy and social media outlets.
From day 1 of the opening of Smooth 70s, it was always inventable that it'd close.