A new Beat
by Shaka Mayers
There’s a new kid on the block: The Beat 104.1 FM.
From YESS 104.1 to Love 104.1 FM, the Starcom Network station saw it’s fair share of changes to the music and entertainment scene, and last Friday their adaptation to the changing scene was made official at the launch of The Beat 104.1
held at Duke’s Night Lounge in 1st Street, St James.
Jumping from just audio to both audio and visual, The Beat 104.1 expanded from its radiowave roots to Internet bandwidth, directly stepping up its game in a highly competitive market.
Speaking at the launch Starcom Network’s general manager Dominic Beaubrun said the rebranding and reformation of the 104.1 frequency couldn’t have happened at a more opportune time.
“We found some changes in the market taking place . . . We had changed the music on Love FM back in 2008 to be more pop and contemporary and less love,” said Beaubrun. “So for four years it was under the rubric of ‘love’ but it was not in fact love music, it was in fact pop and international hits. So we said we would bring the name of the branding in alignment with that,” he said.
Beaubrun said the inspiration for the move came from his trip to South America, where he saw the technology for Internet radio being used in exciting new ways.
“Once we seized upon it we found it gave such a lift to the way the platform could be used . . . . Everybody was suddenly clamouring for content because we started showing music videos instead playing songs, interviewing people live, and because we have such good 4G technology here in Barbados and we’re highly fibred as well, it meant that the timing was great,” said Beaubrun.
However, having a website that could access content wasn’t the only goal, but having content that the new platform could thrive on 18 to 24 hours a day, and The Beat 104.1 did just that. With their fully interactive platform where viewers and listeners could interact via social media and see their favourite radio personalities in HD, the reformation gave a whole new meaning to the question, ‘Have you seen radio lately?’.
Beaubrun also added that the advertising potential was greater now than it was for just radio.
“The prices of advertising on it are keeping within the range of radio prices. It’s affordable and at the same time it’s entertaining.”
He continued, “It has certainly given a lift to the excitement to where radio is going, because there was a concern that the technology had plateaued. Currently we’ve got 14 radio stations and nine other frequencies are available, so that means you’re going to have roughly 26 competitors in the market, where is the business aspect of the market going? So we had to get into the lead and find something to distinguish ourselves on,” Beaubrun said.