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The renewal of Magic

First as an oldies station in the North of England and, from 1998, in London as an easy listening format, the Magic brand is a venerable player on the British radio field.

Today, Magic is also a national digital radio station and, for listeners within the D2 multiplex area with a DAB+ radio, Magic mushrooms into lighter spin-offs Magic Chilled (skewing younger) and Mellow Magic (skewing older) while Magic Soul is deployed tactically around the UK.


Now, the core Magic station is embarking upon a measured repositioning of its music offer, investments in above the line advertising, new talent and a fresh sonic package which includes jingles from Wisebuddah and the voice talent of Clare Sturgess and Shaun Parkes.

Ronan Keating and Harriet Scott will host the station’s breakfast show from later in 2017.

For a station that has meant different things to audiences in different places, this is an opportunity to firmly define what is Magic in today’s more competitive marketplace and to get people to reconsider it as a relevant and attractive choice.

Magic’s centre of gravity is now very strongly on the songs of the 80s and 90s, a focus that will help to dispel any negative misconceptions that the station is ‘the one your parents listen to’. It’s a tonal shift from relaxing to uplifting, as well as a nudge younger.

Content Director Tony Moorey has been thinking about what he calls “the hormonal changes” of his target audience, suggesting that the age of puberty is also the time at which listeners forge their musical reference points. “The 80s and 90s are the natural place for the Magic brand”, he says.

The name’s too short to sing

Magic’s new sonic package from Wisebuddah features the line “More of the songs you love” sung to a consistent melody before you hear the station name. Tony reveals that the McDonald’s sonic logo that precedes their line “I’m lovin’ it” was part of the stimulus in the creative process.

“The name Magic is too short to sing along to… but if we can get people singing the longer line then they are more likely to remember the name. That’s the theory, at least”.

Why focus on just the music?

Tony Moorey says that, even in an age of on-demand personalised music from streaming services, you cannot build a radio station without communicating its music positioning.

“An audience’s understanding of the station begins with the music. It’s the foundation of understanding and you have to cement that first, or it will be difficult to add anything on top. Will we be promoting the new talent? Of course, but the music makes up the vast proportion of the station”.