Virgin Radio, the national commercial rock station, is launching on Freeview at the end of June as part of Virgin’s strategy to develop its station’s reach over a variety of new platforms.
The station has signed a deal with interactive content and services provider YooMedia to provide the bandwidth for the station. The deal will extend the station’s reach to include the over 7 million homes that have a Freeview box.
The launch will be supported by a significant on-air campaign, with a wider campaign to follow after the launch.
According to Rajar figures for the first quarter of 2006, the total Virgin Radio network, which includes AM and FM, has 2.5 million listeners. It also has a number of digital services such as Virgin Xtreme, which are measured separately.
Virgin and YooMedia are looking at taking advantage of the television screen by introducing interactive services. Virgin director of digital development James Crid
land says/ “We will add information to the broadcast about who is playing.”
He adds that Virgin has been keen to launch on Freeview for some time and that chief executive Fru Hazlitt, who is known to be keen on using new platforms, has “breathed new life” into the business.
He says: “We have a history of making our station available on as many platforms as we can.”
Cridland also says that the move is good news for its listeners outside London, where the station is available only on AM.