Global have launched their brand new radio station which is set to give Bauer a run for their money in the nostalgia market.
Heart 80s launched on 14 March 2017 with a live breakfast show with Roberto who left the main Heart station after Christmas, followed by non-stop music for the rest of the day.
Musically there is plenty of crossover with Absolute 80s, the long standing Bauer retro station which launched in 2009 without the more obscure guitar skewed tracks that they play.
The opportunity for Heart 80s came along when Bauer moved Absolute 80s to their co-owned Sound Digital Multiplex which doesn't cover the South West of England and East Anglia along with most of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland outside Belfast.
Global have clearly targeted the playlist at former Absolute 80s listeners who either live outside Sound Digital transmission areas or disgruntled current listeners fed up with comedy skewed breakfast output and sweepers which match the Absolute Radio brand.
Don't write off Heart 80s as a bland Heart clone, they've clearly worked hard at programming this station as something different which will benefit both male skewed Absolute 80s listeners who aren't particularly interested in rock music but just want what it says on the tin. Feel Good 80s classics without being anal along with current Heart FM listeners.
I wouldn't write off Absolute 80s though, Christian O'Connell's breakfast show is excellent and has an all 80s playlist thanks to Bauer's investment in split playlists during the simulcast show with Absolute Radio, also Matthew Rudd's 'Unforgotten 80s' really does play those underplayed not so radio friendly gems every Sunday evening which has built up a cult following among the nostalgia music fans.
However Bauer will need to monitor Heart 80s to see if they can improve their product and not be complacent. There's only so many loyal listeners who can tolerate long commercial breaks.
If you love 80s music, the choice nationally has improved.