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Community Radio goes 'where the money is'

A new radio agency is harnessing the power of community stations, has signed its first set of ‘attractive stations’.

Created to deliver advertising revenues to community radio by using the power of their online presence, Love Radio has signed 25 UK community radio stations.

“Community radio must look at routes to revenue that mirror global ad spends”, says agency owner David Harber. “Community radio faces increasing difficulty in writing national ‘airtime’ revenues. So, quite simply, we pitching the community radio sector as an attractive package in an area where there is real money”.

Love Radio has spent the past six months building relationships with some of the UK’s leading SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) experts, digital ad agencies and content writers. In the process, the boutique agency has collated masses of data about the online power of community radio.

“Herein lies a huge opportunity”, adds Harber who also runs a community station in Hampshire. “This not only delivers direct income to stations, but it also creates a more cohesive sector; a sector that is actually rather disparate and hard to quantify”.

Radio stations that are firmly connected to their community and are trusted by their local authority or local charitable partnerships offer “much greater value” to digital agencies; some community stations’ websites have a much greater monetary value than their nearest commercial station.

“We commissioned an initial assessment of 50 community station websites”, says Love Radio co-director Ben Tuffin. “Some of these like Phoenix FM in Essex and Radio Verulam in Hertfordshire are astoundingly attractive to digital advertisers.

“There’s also a really rewarding unintended consequence of what we are doing. Getting community stations to work together not only creates a really attractive portfolio for brands, but sharing each other’s successes also means that each station increases its own online value and therefore income potential”.

The new company based at Andover Radio’s offices is currently onboarding new stations and will be spending the next two weeks negotiating increased spends from relevant and appropriate clients following what they call “greater than anticipated interest”.

Case studies, income opportunities and a full description of how Love Radio operate are available at their website David Harber and Ben Tuffin will be at the Radio Hub event in Essex on Saturday March 21st.

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