Vintage wants the golden oldies

The UK's over-fifties spend £276bn a year, according to the Office for National Statistics, making up 44 per cent of total family spend in the UK.

Vintage TV
Vintage TV

With the 'grey pound' hitting such a high, and as the over-fifties become more affluent and ubiquitous, it is only fitting that a new music TV station has been launched to cater for this lucrative market and provide a vehicle for PROs.

Vintage TV is the first music and popular culture channel created specifically for the 50-plus demographic. It began broadcasting on Sky and Freesat on 1 September.

Chief executive David Pick describes the channel, which features music from the 1940s to the 1980s, as 'MTV for the over-fifties'.

Pick developed the idea when he noticed the proliferation of retro compilation CDs in the charts, not to mention the success of retro musicals such as Jersey Boys and Hair.

As the modern concept of the music video was not developed until 1975, with Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, the entrepreneurial Pick has set up deals with newsreel firms, plus the BBC and ITN, to obtain performance footage of vintage pop stars in action.

Pick says this could be just the start: 'Our approach to music may suggest a different approach to other channels. They are still wedded to the 16-to-34 age group, but we are ensuring we attract and retain an older demographic as well.'

While there will be opportunities for PR professionals to use the channel to speak to the over-fifties, Eulogy chief executive Adrian Brady warns that this is a very wide demographic.

'The problem with trying to target the over-fifties market through a single TV channel is that it's as broad as saying you only want to target the under-fifties. And let's consider the various audiences within that group from teens to twenties to thirtysomethings with children, to fortysomethings with their own teenage offspring.

'In a world when we talk about knowing our audience, how can we seriously suggest the over-fifties is one market or can be served by one channel?' asks Brady.

The channel's flagship show is the Paul Gambaccini-fronted When I Was Young, showcasing musical luminaries talking about the music that influenced their childhoods and, ultimately, their lives.

Another show of interest for PROs will be Me and Mrs Jones, a chat show hosted by music journalist, broadcaster and author Lesley-Ann Jones.

Confirmed guests include Tony Hadley, lead singer of Spandau Ballet, and Steve Harley, of Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel.

'From a PR point of view, it's a great opportunity for your clients to be interviewed in a compelling setting that is less about selling their product but is more an opportunity to express themselves,' says Pick.

Other elements on the channel will include vintage music videos, plus filmed concerts, beginning with Louis Armstrong's last performance.



Age of target audience: Fifty-plus

Potential reach: Ten million households and an audience of 21 million over-fifties

Channels: Sky 369; Freesat 515

Presenters include: Paul Gambaccini, Lesley-Ann Jones, Tony Blackburn and Kim Wilde



A MINUTE WITH ... David Pick,chief executive, Vintage TV

David Pick

What are your expectations for Vintage TV?

The plan is for it to be a destination TV channel. You will find something of interest even if you are not familiar with the music or the presenters.

Who would be relevant for interview on Me and Mrs Jones?

Those in the music world who have been around for some years. We are also interested in guests such as politicians and respected sports people - people who have delivered a great deal, not Big Brother celebs. But everything we do will have a strong musical element. If we bring in a politician, it's to discuss their music collection.

What other opportunities could there be for getting products and services featured?

We intend to have a format where we review new albums. The albums would be by recording artists who are familiar to us, particularly when they are producing new recordings of their early songs. The over-fifties market is where the buying power and the leisure time are. When you look at it from that point of view, we could also cover areas such as financial services, travel, technology and new cars.

How should PR people get in touch?

We are a small and perfectly formed team. Whatever is sent through to our email address and is serious will be considered.

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