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8Radio

8Radio

8RADIO


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8Radio is an alternative music radio station principally ran by Simon Maher who was one of the founders of Phantom FM. Originally launched as an internet operation, 8Radio has appeared on FM under a series of temporary licences.

The 8Radio philosophy is simple – we play the music we like. Everything from 80s synth pop to brand new Irish and international gems to 70s post-punk. If the song is good, we will play it. We want your input too – have a listen to any of our streams and let us know what you think.

8Radio.com is operated by 8Radio Vision Ltd, registered in Dublin in 2012.  It is managed by Simon Maher who was previously a founder presenter and General Manager of Phantom 105.2 from its early days as a pirate station through to its days as a fully licenced operation.

Following his departure from Phantom in 2011, Simon began working on putting together a group of like-minded individuals with a love of music and radio. “I had been asking people what they listen and so many people tell me they have deserted traditional radio altogether which is a great shame. People still love music though so they have replaced their terrestrial radio listening with online radio/spotify/deezer and their own playlists which are by their nature a bit less structured than traditional radio. So, when we started putting the music for 8Radio together, we have gone for a much more random selection of high quality tunes. Think The National followed by Lucius followed by The Blades at lunchtime!”

In 2013 the 8Radio.com group was formed and a formal structure for 8Radio.com was born.  Apart from its online presence, which is 8Radio.com’s main broadcast platform, 8Radio has applied for, and been granted, temporary FM licences to broadcast to the cities of Dublin, Galway, Cork and Limerick at weekends. These FM broadcasts are intended to act as further proof of concept for the 8Radio.com format and provide an avenue for disenfranchised radio listeners to find their way back to Irish radio.

The operating company for 8Radio.com, 8Radio Vision Ltd has made submissions to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland setting out it’s views on the future of Alternative Music Radio in a changing radio environment and looks forward to the publication of the BAI’s plans after the completion of their Strategic Review. 8Radio.com believes strongly that there is a market for an Alternative Music service in Ireland operating on a business model which matches it’s niche appeal while providing a high-quality valuable outlet for music that would not normally be available on daytime terrestrial radio in this country.

‘About Us’ on their website

PRESS COVERAGE

by Sinéad Ó’Carroll

Music lovers across the country will be treated to a new radio station from next weekend.

And this one has pedigree.

A long-time mission of one of the founders of Phantom FM, 8Radio.com aims to offer a more eclectic mix of tunes to listeners than traditional stations currently provide.

The thought will probably excite many fans of the former pirate station as it was in its hey-day. A young pup operating from a shed in Sandyford, Phantom launched the careers of many of today’s mainstream radio personalities, as well as bringing new music to the masses.

As the station grew up, the wobbly teenage years brought about the official licence it craved but also some problems. Eventually, founder Simon Maher departed the now part Communicorp-owned Phantom FM in 2011. Until then he had worked as the station’s deputy programme director and afternoon DJ.

He had a decision to make. “I wasn’t sure whether to do something else in radio or to move on,” he told TheJournal.ie.

“But I had always wanted to create a station that plays music that people like listening to. It should not be revolutionary for a bunch of people who love music to play what people want to hear.”

The Dublin man, who now moonlights as a teacher by day, asked his students what they now listen to and, almost more importantly, how do they listen to it?

The answer was overwhelmingly “not traditional radio”.

“They said they would listen to online radio or hit shuffle on an iPod. It showed me that people can cope with a bigger selection of music than we give them credit for.”

Maher has been working on the venture for the past nine months and the fruits of his labour will be heard at Whelan’s in Dublin on launch night this Wednesday.

“What should we expect?” Other than domestic wine from a box and sausages on sticks, there will be three bands, a mix of DJs and a chance to meet the people behind 8Radio.

“This isn’t a product of research,” he explains. “It is the product of people who like music and like radio.”

Maher said the team plans to play around with the format for a least a year and “see how it goes”.

“Phantom went in having to raise €1.5 million a year to survive, this is a lot less risky,” he adds.

The station will air on FM in Dublin (94.3), Cork (106.7) and Limerick (105.5) under a temporary licence for 15 weekends beginning 30 March. It will also continue to be available online for about six hours every day from Easter Sunday.

Listeners should expect to hear a mix of Passion Pit, Daft Punk, The XX, David Bowie and KD Lang during the daytime, while night time listening will bring the sounds of Joni Mitchell, Mick Flannery, INXS, Leonard Cohen and more.

A recruitment campaign for volunteer presenters, tech personnel and researchers began earlier this year and there are now 22 people training ahead of the launch.

May 22nd 2014

8Radio.com returns to FM with ‘that human element’

by Laura Slattery

The online music station will broadcast in Dublin, Cork and Limerick for 15 weekends

Music station 8Radio.com, set up by Phantom FM co-founder Simon Maher, will return for its second run of weekend FM broadcasts from Saturday under a temporary licence from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

The radio station went out on FM in Dublin, Cork and Limerick for 15 weeks last summer before continuing via online streaming and smartphone apps throughout the year.

“For us, it’s a 15-week business card,” says Maher of the FM licence.

Temporary licence

Under the BAI rules, an applicant for a temporary licence can broadcast on FM for

up to 30 days over a 12-month period. Maher says the three-city licence costs 8Radio.com about €8,000 to €10,000.

This year, 8Radio.com will go out on 94.3FM in Dublin, 106.7FM in Cork and 105.5FM in Limerick for seven weekends until July 6th, before taking a summer break and returning on September 6th for eight weeks to cover the “back to school/college” period.

“We got a good response last year, but once we went off FM, there was a noticeable drop- off, and we put it down partly to the fact that people were on holiday. It took us until January or February to get decent momentum back,” says Maher.

The station says it has about 6,000 monthly listeners, while its smartphone apps have been downloaded more than 2,500 times.

Under the terms of its licence 8Radio.com cannot accept spot advertising, but it is seeking online display advertising business and sponsorships for its programmes.

The station has the motto “playing the music we like”, in a bid to highlight the individual input its roster of 19 presenters have over the music it broadcasts.

“To give it some coherence, there is a playlist,” says Maher. “But there is a certain amount of time in each hour where we say to our presenters ‘go and make it you’. Our listeners have access to Spotify and similar services, so the only thing that will make 8Radio.com work is that human element.”

Maher says he is still in love with the idea that he had when he first started off in radio, where DJs “get a bag of records” and play the ones they want people to like, and listeners learn to trust the presenter’s recommendations.

Although there is airplay for classic tracks from old favourites such as Kate Bush and Radiohead, the station is committed to playing the kind of untried-and-untested new music that makes programmers on traditional stations break into a cold sweat.

Temporary Licence Runs

First Run:-
March 30th – July 7th 2013
Dublin (94.3MHz), Cork (106.7MHz) and Limerick (105.5MHz) – weekends only


Second Run:-
May 24th – July 6th 2014
Dublin (94.3MHz), Cork (106.7MHz) and Limerick (105.5MHz) – weekends only


September – October 2014
Dublin (94.3MHz), Cork (106.7MHz) and Limerick (105.5MHz) – weekends only


June-July 2015


October 16th – November 22nd 2015
Dublin (94.3FM), Cork (106.7FM), Limerick (105.5FM) and Galway (89.5FM) Fridays – Sundays

November 19th-December 18th 2016
Dublin (94.3MHz) – weekends only


February & March 2017
Dublin (94.3MHz), Cork (106.7MHz) , Limerick (105.2MHz) and Galway (89.5MHz)
weekends only


May-June 2018


October 2018
Dublin (105.2MHz), Cork (106.7MHz) , Limerick (105.5MHz) and Galway (87.7MHz)
Fridays – Sundays


June 15th to July 14th 2019
Dublin (105.2MHz), Cork (106.7MHz) , Limerick (105.5MHz) and Galway (87.7MHz)
Fridays – Sundays

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