Jazz FM aims for audience boost with Euro network

Jazz FM will become the first UK station to broadcast on Ondas Media, a Europe-wide satellite radio platform, as the radio station looks to boost listener numbers and advertising revenues.

The Ondas deal will enable the station to broadcast in 27 European countries when the platform launches in 2012.

Jazz FM chief executive Richard Wheatley says the deal could add “several million” subscribers and increase European advertising and sponsorship revenues.

He adds the “virtuous circle” will also help the station develop its download, record label and concert brand extensions.

Jazz FM has been working to widen distribution this year by launching on all four major mobile phone platforms – Nokia, Blackberry, Google and iPhone. It was already available online, on DAB and on satellite platforms.

Ondas will broadcast to consumers through bespoke devices available for cars and portable devices as well as for the home and office.
It has already signed deals with Renault, Nissan and BMW which will allow motorists to listen in their cars, a move that could reignite the debate on the future of radio platforms.

Motor manufacturers are seen as key for the future success of DAB but some have been slow to include DAB radios in their cars because of the lack of a Europe-wide DAB workable standard.

Wheatley says listeners are interested in having more choice of platforms, not in the debate over the future of DAB.
“It is only those in the radio industry that think about DAB, consumers just want to know how they can listen to their favourite radio station,” he says.

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