Mediacorp shuts down indie radio station Lush 99.5FM

Mediacorp has revealed plans to discontinue the transmission radio station Lush 99.5FM, with effect from 1 September 2017. The station has been around for 13 years. Current and past advertisers for the radio station included names such as Mitsubishi, Denki Tokyo FM, Laneway media partner and NAC 2016.

According to a press statement, this was “part of a rationalisation of its network of radio stations”. This comes as the needs of Lush listeners are increasingly being served online and on alternative platforms. Lush, which started in 2004, was positioned as an indie music station catering to a niche following.

However, the station’s listenership has seen a decline over the years, to numbers as low as 50,000 weekly currently. Marketing understands that prior to the closure, advertisers such as Mitsubishi Electric were advertising on Lush 99.5FM's airwaves. The release said:

Despite efforts to improve listenership, Lush continues to consistently garner the lowest audience among Mediacorp’s radio stations.

In a statement to Marketing, a Mediacorp spokesperson explained that some examples of this was Lush’s shift to not only cover the local music scene, but also encapsulate the local arts scene since 2012. This was also seen its support as St Jerome's Laneway Festival Singapore's media partner over the years.

Meanwhile, Mediacorp has decided to focus on growing its overall listenership by consolidating its resources and efforts on its five other English stations, namely 938LIVE, 987, CLASS 95, GOLD 905, Symphony 924. It will also look towards incorporating key elements of Lush’s brand of entertainment into the remaining five stations.

New programming plans and a renewed lineup is currently in the pipeline.

Lush’s closure also signals the drop of one platform for the local arts and music scene, which was a key part of its programming.

Addressing these concerns, the Mediacorp statement explained that local content will be given strong prominence in Mediacorp’s new Singapore Sounds initiative. This initiative will be launched on 987 and feature home-grown artistes and mainstream local music. Meanwhile, 938LIVE which will feature independent artists. Local musicians will also be featured on key Mediacorp programmes on Toggle and television, such as during the Countdown show.