Q&A Interview with Lloyd Barber Founder of THE ROCK

Our good friends from Core Media at our launch in September 2019
CAPTION: Our good friends from Core Media at our launch in September 2019.
In this Q&A, we talked to Lloyd Barber – Managing Director at LOR Productions.

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Tell us about yourself, your work and what makes you different? 

I have worked in the radio industry for the past 30 years both here in Ireland and in Australia with 13 radio stations now under my belt. I love the radio industry as I have a huge passion for music, whether I’m listening to a new album, watching a live band or writing and performing myself.

I believe that what makes me different is not only that I have a comprehensive understanding of the medium but also that I see how it is a crucial element in original bands’ success.

Why did you start ROCK Station and what makes it special?

Status Quo guitarist Richie Malone at one of our "Rock Shows"
Status Quo guitarist Richie Malone at one of our “Rock Shows”

10 years ago, I was a part of the Radio Nova launch team. These were exciting times since they had secured a “Classic Rock “ license.  My role was Sponsorship and Promotions Manager.

Following a hugely successful launch, it became clear that the station wanted a much broader audience completely abandoning the classic rock position.

This frustrated me as I felt that we have let our listeners down with the station now not really standing for anything. I also observed that no station was catering to the rock genre with minimal support of original Irish rock bands.

Things needed to change and with three decades of radio behind me, an extensive track record as a marketing and promotions professional and my passion for music – I launched THE ROCK.

Our mission is crystal clear:

By delivering the best variety of rock music our mission to be the number one rock station in Ireland appealing to the 18- 50 demographic. We will support original Irish bands giving them a real platform to build a fan base and sustain a career in the music industry.

We will harvest the loyalty of our listeners and direct them into our client’s businesses through strategic media plans, sponsorships and promotions. To create excitement and talk ability by delivering amazing free concerts along with, a slick and cool promotional team….everyone will be talking about “THE ROCK”.

Whom are you trying to attract and serve (your target market) with this new initiative?

​Our audience is predominantly 20 to 55 demographic with a stronger male skew. Our typical 4-week digital campaign reaches over 230,000 people nationally.

Due to demand we have fast tracked our merchandise lines with more in development.
Due to demand, we have fast-tracked our merchandise lines with more in development.

Why do you believe that you will do well in this space?

No radio station is catering to this genre so as long as we stay true to our format our audience will only continue to grow. Furthermore, rock music fans are extremely loyal, hence, we have had to fast-track our merchandise lines.

Moreover, our commercial breaks only run two ads compared to all other stations running 10. This means that our clients’ ads receive a better “cut through” delivering a better ROI and it’s a more enjoyable experience for the listener.

What are your plans for 2020 and beyond?  

Even Rock Stars love our merch!!! Beth -Ami from Alkatrazz
Even Rock Stars love our merch!!! Beth -Ami from Alkatrazz.

As we have now positioned ourselves as the powerhouse in the rock genre for music selection, next we need to create strong promotional elements.

Our first is a new programme, which will create major excitement, called “Backstage Pass”. This segment features interviews with a variety of the biggest names in rock music from Status Quo, The Darkness, Thin Lizzy to Def Leppard. These will be released as podcasts and also include a selection of original Irish bands.

Next, to engage our listeners and also include our clients and industry partners, we will be hosting our own “Rock Shows”. These events will have a selection of local and international bands performing and will allow us to build rapport with our listeners and industry partners.

These will be held at leading music venues and have our full promo team involved.

What’s your plan for advertisers / commercial opportunities?

Lead singer of "The Darkness" Justin Hawkins being interviewed back stage
Lead singer of “The Darkness” Justin Hawkins being interviewed backstage.

We hope to attract clients who are looking for “Partnerships “ rather than just buying air time as there is a lot we can offer.

Our copywriting teams can create amazing radio commercials supported by strong online platforms which can be a foundation for “Call to action” campaigns.

We have a variety of station sponsorship to maintain our clients’ brands and in addition, we can offer a promotional activity that ties into our own events, our promotional team (sampling) or tailor bespoke promotions.

As our genre is “Rock” we have a license to be cool, daring and create huge talk ability around Dublin.

What do you have in plan for your listeners?

We will be constantly adding new rock music to our playlist, our interviews will continue to grow and our promotions will only get bigger.

Furthermore, we will be hosting a selection of FREE music events along with our promotional team hitting all the live music and big sporting events in summer.

How can people find out ROCK RADIO and get in touch with you?  

There are two options. First, simply search “The Rock Dublin” in-app store and download the FREE App. This allows the public to listen to their mobile devices, in their cars, etc. Due to demand, we have also added an online media player on our website  www.therockdublin.com.

In order to get in touch, you can contact us by email: info@therockdublin.com or directly through the “contact us” section on our app.

Anything else you’d like to add/we should have asked?

The ROCK has created huge interest across Ireland for both the general public and in music-related industries.

We are delivering a product that is in huge demand with an exciting edge. International artists want to support us and the general public are screaming out for our merchandise.

We now need to align this loyalty with clients who want to engage with our audience and for the fellow Tribe Members, we will deliver a great deal and something truly special.