Public radio has been around since the 1920s and it’s still used, to this day, as a platform for discovering new music. How amazing is that?! According to RadioCentre, 9/10 people listen to the radio each week. That’s roughly 90% of the UK population! Despite recent growing trends in playlisting and streaming, radio is still one of the top leading platforms for new music. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at one of the UK’s radio giants… Capital Radio.
The Capital radio station, later known as Capital Radio London, was founded by David Maule-ffinch as an independent music radio station for London in the early 1970s. Later becoming one of the UK’s major radio groups in the 1990s, Capital has secured itself as a popular entertainment brand for the younger demographic.
In the station’s early years, partnerships were made between Capital and other independent UK stations to expand audience reach. These partnerships were later developed into station mergers, providing Capital with regional bases across the nation.
The Capital network now has twelve independent stations working under its name; all broadcasting a mix of local and networked shows. Nine of these stations are now owned by the Global Radio Network, whilst the remaining three stations are owned under franchise agreements. The Capital radio frequency for all of these stations broadcasts Capital radio live on 95 – 106fm.
For those pop artists our there, this station is for you! Capital one radio specifically plays pop music from the last two years and unlike BBC Radio 1, Capital does not play Rock or Alternative music. This probably explains their young 15-34 year old demographic! The radio heavily features music from the likes of Little Mix, Stormzy, Jess Glynn, Ed Sheeran and other well known chart-topping pop acts!
Station playlists are however very limited with only minor changes each week. If you’re lucky enough to have your latest single featured on the station, you can guarantee a nice royalty check at the end of the month!
If you’re an RnB or HipHop artist, fear not! 2013 saw the launch of Capital xtra radio; a station dedicated to contemporary grime and HipHop music. Broadcasting on 107fm, this station plays the likes of Beyonce, Kanye West, Jay Z and Skepta.
Capital radio is famous for its annual events. Each year, Capital holds many festivals and parties under the Capital brand, all featuring household name artists. These events see thousands of people attend and have helped raise millions for charity. Let’s take a look at some of Capital radios annual events…
The Capital Summertime Ball first launched in June 2009. Since its launch, the mini-festival, held at Wembley stadium, has featured acts ranging from Katy Perry to Little Mix and the Jonas Brothers. A portion of the profits are donated each year to Capital’s charity: Help A Capital Child. A charity dedicated to helping young children from deprived backgrounds in the London area.
The Capital Jingle Bell Ball first launched in 2008, taking place annually in December at the O2 arena. Much like the Summertime Ball, this mini-festival has featured household name artists such as Taylor Swift and Stormzy. Profits from this event also go to Capital’s charity, Help A Capital Child.
Each year, Capital radio host competitions to win tickets to Capital in Ibiza – Capital radio’s biggest party for dance music. Featuring world-famous DJs and artists, Capital Ibiza has become a popular summer event for the party demographic.
In addition to Capital’s famous annual events, the station has its famous breakfast show with Roman Kemp. Airing weekdays from 6am – 10am, the show plays the latest hot singles and shares recent gossip alongside competitions and news updates.
Launching nationally in 2019, the show replaced regional breakfast shows that previously aired on the Capital network. In Capital’s early years, the breakfast show was responsible for large increases in their listening audience.
It’s always good to give back! Capital radio is famous for their extensive charity work, especially in the London area.
Help a London child is Capital radio’s own charity which raises funds for underprivileged children in the London area. This charity provides grants twice a year, supporting children aged 18 and under. Since its formation in 1975 by Richard Attenborough, help a London child has raised in excess of £22 million for London communities.
The ‘Make Some Noise’ charity is one that the Global Radio Network (Capital radio’s owners) launched in 2014 . Since its launch, it has raised over £15 million for 224 partnered charities. The charity has dedicated recent funds to aid families affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
It’s amazing to see how a small independent radio station has grown over the years to become one of the UK’s leading radio networks. The Capital brand has expanded from a small London base to a national machine, hosting large arena events for the masses. Its large, young, audience provides an incredible platform for artists to share new music and stay current with a large portion of music consumers.
Furthermore, the substantial charity work that this network hosts has helped change thousands of lives in both London and surrounding areas. Truly an inspiring story for us all.