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What's the difference between FM104 & Spin1038 ?

  • 25-10-2023 10:18am
    Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭

    20 years ago, the Idea was that Spin103.8 was for Tweens & teenagers and FM104 was for adults but is that the case today?



  • Registered Users Posts: 227 ✭✭turbocab

    No difference .Both chasing an audience that has long gone to the smartphone never to return.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,717 ✭✭✭GSF

    Main difference now is that they are owned by different companies

  • Registered Users Posts: 635 ✭✭✭TheBMG

  • Registered Users Posts: 882 ✭✭✭radiotrickster

    Spin1038 always sounds slick and you can tell they update their music playlist regularly. The presenters are all decent too.

    Fm104 sounds messy. I wouldn’t rate any presenter there . I would have listened to Graham and Nathan almost every day on Spin1038 but they don’t sound the same on Fm104. It might be the different producer but they’re not as funny and I’m sure they’re redoing things they did at Spin1038 so it’s just deja vu. And you hear the same songs from five, six, seven years ago all the time. They play some new songs too but it still doesn’t sound as slick as Spin .

    I can’t say I particularly like any of the weekday presenters for Fm104. Any time I listen, it’s talk about nothing.

    Yesterday Graham and Nathan were speaking about being in a new studio and I don’t think it was interesting for anyone but themselves. That to me can sum up the whole station.

  • Registered Users Posts: 275 ✭✭chilloutrelax

    Spin has been gradually moving towards being like FM104 over years, adopting similar tag lines and programming.

    Spin is very repetitive and this isn’t helped by the hourly push for the cash machine, which is often a 2 minute link at the top of the hour. They also play very long ad breaks, often 6 minutes long. This means in the second half of each hour had about 12 minutes of ads. This also means that the time from the ad beak before news and the end of the link for the cash machine is sometimes up to 12 minutes long. This is a long gap in music for a music station.

    In my view this will catch up with them over time.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 12 Bib

    Afaik stations aren't allowed to have more than 10 minutes of advertising per hour. Fm104 has 3 breaks, spin has 2. I'm less likely to tune away from spin.

    I'm with radiotrickster on this. Spin sounds much better. Fm104 fell apart after dave kelly was pushed out.

  • Registered Users Posts: 275 ✭✭chilloutrelax

    They l exceed 10 minutes per hour during the day. Maybe they have a derogation for this. It’s just 3 ad breaks split between 2.

    maybe fm104 should do the same tbh

  • Registered Users Posts: 635 ✭✭✭TheBMG

    The descriptions of radio formats can be a bit dated these days but …

    Spin is CHR.

    FM104 is HOT A/C

    two different formats.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12 Bib

    It would open them up to a serious reprimand from the regulator so I doubt it exceeded the 10 minute rule. Are you counting promos as ad minutes too?

    Either way fm104 are way behind spin in the jnlr. It's a shadow of its former self.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,128 ✭✭✭✭Losty Dublin


    A lot of people have an image of young people streaming all and anything from their smartphone or ipads, chasing stations from the four corners of the globe or foreign John Peel types. In the main they still listen to the same two stations and ten artist, the main difference been the device they now use to access the radio.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 275 ✭✭chilloutrelax

    Yes I’m including promos - so the total break is often 6 mins. For most people promos and ads are the same. It’s a very long break for a CHR station.

    They aren’t way ahead from the most recent JNLR e.g weekly listeners:

    Spin: 258k

    FM104: 252k

  • Registered Users Posts: 12 Bib

    Fm104 would play the same amount of ads except they spread it over 3 breaks, all with promos too. Imo that disrupts the music flow more than spins way of doing things.

    You're going by reach there. On share which is how long a person listens for fm104 are being creamed by spin 30.9% to fm104's 13.5% in 15-24s and 25.2% to fm104's 15.3% in the key 15-34 target age group. Whatever way you spin it fm104 has gone to pot.

  • Registered Users Posts: 275 ✭✭chilloutrelax

    I’m not trying to spin it; I don’t really mind either way tbh. You have selected spins main demographic rather than overall; of course they will be ahead and have been for many years for these. You could just as easily say FM104 is creaming spin in other age categories.

    I think FM104 should consider moving to 2 ad breaks also for their more music drivers shows.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12 Bib

  • Registered Users Posts: 275 ✭✭chilloutrelax

    You are right but they have always focused on the 25-45 as it’s more lucrative.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12 Bib

    Maybe in the days of dave kelly at the helm, I don't think they know what they're targeting these days from listening to it imo

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,481 ✭✭✭KildareP

    Whatever happened to Dave Kelly and his departure from FM104? Did he leave voluntarily or was he pushed?

    His exit seems to have sparked somewhat of an exodus of a number of long term on-air and production staff from FM104 with a very noticeable decline in the whole sound of the station.

  • Registered Users Posts: 275 ✭✭chilloutrelax

    In fairness, the decline started a while before Dave Kelly left. There has been a big change of the senior team over the past 2 years; Dave Kelly (PD), Margaret Nelson (CEO/Director), Mark Noble (Assistant PD and music director). It’s also worth noting that they also had similar roles with Q102, who also had a big decline at the same time as FM104. Might be a connection as to why the changes happened.

    Both have made gains over the last two JNLRs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,070 ✭✭✭Declan A Walsh

    Dave Kelly went on to be a programming consultant for Radio Nova and Classic Hits. Quite a few of his former work colleagues from FM104 are on those stations too.

    These days, undoubtedly, there is not much difference during weekdays in the musical content between Spin1038 and FM104. Originally, FM104 (and its previous incarnations as Rock104 and Capital Radio) were aiming for the 20s-30s age bracket, and, when it arrived on the scene, Spin was aiming for the teenagers to early '20s market. Now they are overlapping considerably. It has to be said, though, that there are various overlaps between all the commercial stations serving the Dublin market.

    What distinguishes the two stations now largely is their style of delivery.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12 Bib

    You're right the decline started long before dave kelly left most likely from 2017 when there was a shift in programming decisions

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  • Registered Users Posts: 882 ✭✭✭radiotrickster

    I would disagree about the musical content not having much difference. It's mostly pop music on both but listen to both stations for an hour and they're worlds apart. Fm104 sounds duller and like less thought goes into it. There have been a couple of occasions where heard two songs with Ariana Grande in the space of an hour and both of them were years old so it wasn't because one was new.

    Spin seem to focus on newer music so the station doesn't sound identical to this time last year but FM104 for the most part would as there's less changes to the playlist.

    The imaging makes a big difference too though and Fm104s segueing almost always sounds rougher than anything that goes out on Spin. I would presume this is a presenter issue but its an issue for a lot of them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 275 ✭✭chilloutrelax

    The music content is about 75-80% the same. It really is mostly style and format.

    FM104 has always played new and slightly older music.

    I was listening to Spin today and they went to ads at 4.53pm, then news and cash machine promo. Back to the music at 5.05pm (was nearly 5.06). I can’t see this format working long term.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12 Bib

    It's been working for them for quite a while now. They're the number most listened to station as you pointed out already. You should compare are hour of each station and you'll see what you're saying about their music being 75-80% the same is nonsense. Fm104 is loose and stale.

  • Registered Users Posts: 275 ✭✭chilloutrelax

    I have compared many hours. They often play the same song at the same time. It’s essentially the same music with some variation between them.

    I’m not looking to defend one station over another, that’s down to personal preference and taste in music.

    I know I keep saying it but the long ad breaks and gap between music played on Spin is longer than any other music station. I just don’t think this model is a sustainable business model for advertisers (having an ad crammed into a 6 minute break can’t be effective) and listeners. Only time will tell.

  • Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭Micheal Varadkar

    The bottom line is, the cash machine has aged Spin, traditionally a good chunk of Spins audience were meant to be under 18 so a promotion for over 18s would have been an no goer on the station once upon a time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12 Bib

    Spin has run 2 ad breaks an hour since its launch in 2002. Time has already proved its a success for them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 275 ✭✭chilloutrelax

    That’s not correct as the format was quite/very different back then. I remember it well.

    Also, the extra long ad breaks is a more recent development. It’s an unusual thing to defend. Past success doesn’t guarantee future success, particularly in a changing sector.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12 Bib

    It is correct. The format may have been different but the fact is they have always run breaks in this way.

    You say in your earlier post you think fm104 should consider moving to do the same. What point are you trying to make because you're contradicting yourself now.

  • Registered Users Posts: 275 ✭✭chilloutrelax

    I’m not.

    I think they should consider it for some shows, but with shorter ad breaks, not 6 minutes long like Spin.

    No other station does it. I suspect it’s because it’s not such a good commercial proposition. Any station could do it if they wish but who wants 6 minute breaks in their programming.

    Also, I’ve heard Steve K get through 10 songs in a row in 22 mins. A little over 2 mins per song.

    It’s all a bit of a clever trick really. They certainly have made it work for them in fairness.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 12 Bib

    Fm104 have the same amount of ad minutes as spin but spread over 3 breaks, if fm104 were to copy spin and move from 3 breaks to 2 they would also have long ad breaks which you say in your opinion will not work out well for spin but then suggest fm104 do the same thing. You're making very little sense.

    Stations dont play ads for the sake of it, they play them because they're sold.