Absolute Radio expects Rajar gains

Absolute Radio is expecting to see audience gains in the second quarter and to have more listeners than its previous incarnation of Virgin Radio by the end of this year.

Absolute Radio was included in quarterly Rajar listening figures in January for the first time since it rebranded last September and it saw a dramatic dip in its national reach across all platforms of 23.6% year on year in the first quarter.

The radio station’s chief operating officer, Clive Dickens, said that he expected to see “a net positive gain”, albeit “modest” in the second quarter Rajar figures to be released next week (May 7). He made his comments at yesterday’s (April 27) MediaGuardian Radio Reborn conference.

Dickens also forecasted that the station would be ahead of Virgin Radio’s position by the end of the year.

He added that brand recognition with April research showing that nearly half of radio listeners recognise that they are listening to Absolute Radio and not Virgin, compared to a fifth in January.

The station launched a major rebranding campaign last October to introduce the station with a TV spot starring Jordan Prentice of Harold & Kumar and In Bruges fame. It followed this with a second wave of advertising last month with a focus on the station’s expanded playlist.

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