Monday, 31 July 2017

Denmark to shut down FM broadcasts?

Danes next to
 close down 
the FM band?

Rumours abound among European media commentators that the Danish government will soon suggest closing FM transmitters; they previously said they would once digital radio share reached 50%. This is expected to happen in late 2018. Digital radio share is growing but still only at 33%., a 50% increase in two years over the previopus level of 21%.

Denmark's national DAB+ network operator Teracom has also announced that it will transmit the commercial radio stations Nova FM, Pop FM and Radio 100 with space now becoming available for other stations. 

Elsewhere in Denmark, several new community radio stations are about to launch on various AM frequencies with a few hundred watts of power. 

A much sought after book about the BBC's Danish Service has been republished and is now available.   

British Broadcasting and the Danish Resistance Movement 1940-1945: A Study of the Wartime Broadcasts of the BBC Danish Service

This book tells the story of how the BBC's European Service played a huge role in danish lives during World War II, and immediately aftwards.  The book was first published in 1966, almost a generation after the Second World War.  

The BBC and its various overseas services played a very important role in many countries, diseminating vital information and messages of moral support. It's  unboubted that without this vital life line the war would have been prolonged.  The BBC's Danish Service was a particularly effective example. 

Most of the transmissions to Denmark came from the giant BBC transmitter at Ottringham in East Yorkshire, which was so powerfuil that it could be heard during the day in Berlin! The power of those transmission can never be over-stated; to the rest of the world, this WAS Britain broadcasting. Quite unlike the world's impressions of the BBC today which sound both in presentation, accent and content not like the UK hardly British at all. 

The BBC also broadcast special programmes in the appropriate native language for the Netherlands, Franjce, Poland and Norway.  After the end of the war these merged to become the BBC European service, which continued until the 1990s.  The BBC's German service was the most listened to of the language streams. 

The book's author, Jeremy Bennett, uncovers the relationship between the stance taken by the BBC and the sometimes dramatic effects of the broadcasts in Denmark, particularly their effects on the Danish Resistance. The 288 page softback is available HERE (via Amazon) for £14.99, post free for Prime users.  Its a Cambridge University Press publication and is one of the few books about that era of Danish broadcasting.  

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Radio Station selling for $82.8 MILLION!

Value of a

 radio station

(0ver $80 million?) 

I've often been asked about radio station prices, and how much various particular radio stations are worth.  This is one of the most difficult questions in radio, it depends on so many variables, but the most influential factors are 

  •  how desirable is it?
  •  how successful is it?

While the desirability depends on how well it is performing, there are many people who regard owning a radio station as an extension of their personality or other business, almost as a vanity exercise.  This has been boosted by the dearth of available radio licences. In most parts of the world the number of radio licences is limited due to spectrum congestion. The number of available frequencies (or slots of the dial) is limited by nature.  And a lack of any commodity leads invariably to higher prices. 

The second valuation measuring tool is much easier to quantify. Like most other businesses,  it is usually a multiple of profits, or of forward cash flow.  That is usually a factor of a radio station's ratings - obviously the more listeners a radio statin has, the more 'pairs of ears' it has for rent to advertisers (which is what the commercial radio business really is - the wholesale rental of pairs of ears)!

Many radio stations can and do charge more for advertising, due to the type (or demographic) of the listener they attract. A radio station with mainly business news can charge much more for its advertising time than a station playing Top 40 music for kids, just as the Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times is more expensive than the Daily Mirror, etc.  This is due to the perceived value of the listeners, and their spending power.  Listeners with low disposable nincome are simply  not of much interest to most advertisers. 

Los Angeles is one of the largest radio markets in the world, in terms of the amount of money spent on radio, although it's not even the largest in the USA.  Imagine a radio station with so few listeners,. that it  isnt even in the top 10 most listened to stations in its area.  

KPWR-FM in Los Angeles, better known to its listeners as Power 106, pulls less than 3% of the area's listeners and its not even the top station in its field - Hip Hop.  It's part of the EMMIS group of radio stations.  They have just announced that they have done a deal to sell the station for $82.8 million!  

That easilly makes it the biggest sale so far this year (in fact the price is over a third the total prices paid for the total of ALL the radio stations   sold o in the last quarter ($245m).  Indeed, its the highest price paid for any single radio station in the last five years! 

The buyers of KPWR-FM   (Power 106) are Merulo Media, who operate other radio and TV stations, including KWHY (MundoFOX) and Super 22.  It's run by Alex Merulo and the sale is awaiting FCC approval. 

(If you want a media property valuing, whether as a group or as a single station,  please do enquire, in the strictest confidence,  to me at this email address).

Radio Market - Los Angeles  to 12 June 2017   Click Here.