Bauer Media has announced that its latest digital radio station launch – its fourth of the year – is Magic At The Musicals. The station will play nothing but black metal. No, wait, songs from musicals. There was a smudge on my screen.
You could certainly ascribe this move to the ‘Greatest Showman’ effect – although Bauer reckons that the massive success of that soundtrack is part of a wider trend.
The media firm says that the new station is launching as theatre attendance has grown by 2.2 million to 34.5 million people annually over the last five years. This, insists Bauer, makes theatre more popular than live music or Premier League football. A bold claim that we suspect involves some selective reading of the figures. But it is almost certainly true that the thing drawing a significant number of people to those theatres is the musicals.
Bauer then lists three popular musicals as ‘The Greatest Showman’, ‘Rocketman’ and ‘La La Land’. All of which are, erm, films. But hey, people like going to the cinema too I guess.
And while musicals aren’t quite the dominant draw on that side, it is true that there seem to be more musicals, or films including musical performances, on the big screen at the moment. And presumably there’s still an appetite for such things – which is why ‘Cats’ and ‘Wicked’ are being turned into films.
“Magic At The Musicals will celebrate the dynamic world of musical theatre – from the favourite classics to the latest West End and Broadway hits – and we’ll reflect the growing number of new and re-imagined musicals on the silver screen”, says Bauer’s Managing Director For National Radio, Steve Parkinson. “This latest addition from the Magic stable will offer targeted access to a premium and distinctive audience of musical loving fans of all ages”.
The station will launch on 21 Nov and is planning its own live event at the Royal Albert Hall in London for next May.