Absolute Radio planning '80s station

Tuesday, November 3 2009, 12:22 GMT

By Andrew Laughlin,

Absolute Radio has announced the forthcoming launch of a new radio station dedicated to 1980s pop music, which is aimed at fun-loving but "reluctant" adults.

Titled Absolute 80s, the new station will commence broadcasts at the start of December on London DAB and the internet in the slot previously held by Absolute Xtreme, reports The Guardian.

Aimed at 30 to 54-year-olds, the station will exclusively play '80s pop bands, such as the Human League, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Duran Duran. It will join the main Absolute Radio station and Absolute Classic Rock in the group's digital lineup.

Absolute chief operating officer Clive Dickens claimed that there is a market opportunity for a station catering purely for listeners over 30 who want to stay connected to their youth.

"These are people who have responsibilities, are members of families but still want to participate and have fun and be involved in music," he said. "A huge chunk of our audience grew up in the '80s."

The Xtreme station - which was carried over from previous owner Virgin - will be shelved indefinitely, but listeners can still access the new music it carried via the company's online interactive service Dabbl.

Dickens confirmed that Dabbl, where users vote on the music they want to hear, will remain exclusive to London DAB, but there are plans to extend the service to other parts of the south of England in the future.

According to figures compiled by RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research), total audience share of all Absolute radio stations dropped to 1.587m in the third quarter of 2009, down from 1.691m in the preceding three months.