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April 16, 2010 / Nick


ASDA FM Live logo

The next time you’re at the checkout and you hear the beep, think of the fun you could be having at Asda. Because in Asda you don’t just hear the sounds of ‘colleague announcement: code 5’ or ‘unexpected item in the bagging area’ like so many other supermarkets. In Asda they play round-the-clock music for their staff and shoppers on ASDA FM Live, the in-store radio station for the supermarket.

Open All Hours

But wait. There’s more!
The radio station also broadcasts online so everybody around the world can effectively listen in to the sound of Asda. The only interruption you get is a very small number of adverts repeated very often  (like Spotify circa January 2009) and occasional chatter from DJs in the daytime asking for your requests and informing you that Spontex kitchen sponges are on Rollback this week. Frankly, the adverts can get quite annoying after a very short space of time.

“ASDA FM: DVD of The Week – In Law Abiding Citizen, a frustrated man decides to take the law into his own hands…”

ASDA remember Darius

So far, so unextraordinary you might be thinking. But did I mention that ASDA FM Live also happens to be surprisingly good at doing radio?
The music output is really broad and they are very good at not just playing the predictable songs by predictable artists. You’re just as likely to hear Owl City’s recent chart-topper Fireflies as you are to hear Darius’s much overlooked 2004 single Kinda Love or Don Henley’s 80s classic Boys of Summer. I only question the station’s professionalism when songs occasionally get interrupted by another adve…

“Planning a roast dinner? Fresh pork joint is now rolled-back from £5.78 to just £3 per kg…”

The DJs are happy to take requests and it seems like anything really goes. Shoppers can request a song to help them motivate themselves through the bakery aisle and every now and then you might hear the jock play out My Love by Justin Timberlake “for the security team at Milton Keynes”.
The station even has a few well-known fans like comedian Jason Manford and writer Grace Dent, which is no surprise when it seems that it is one of the most listened to radio stations in the UK thanks to its captive audience of shoppers.

“Have you heard of Challenge 25? It aims to prevent the sale of age-restricted products to those under the age of 25…”

Going in for the kill (but coming out with cream cakes and cookies as well).

In the daytime, things sound a lot like a blended up Radio 1 & 2 with a dash of Magic or Heart. But when the night falls, it starts getting a bit more funky and ASDA FM Live begin to put a donk on proceedings. Customers on a late-night snack hunt are treated to a range of toe-tappers from 80s electropop to modern hip-hop and even dubstep.
Even if you’re listening at home, there’s a strange sort of vicarious pleasure to be had from the idea that you COULD be in the supermarket right now, standing in front of the pizza counter bopping along to Skream’s Let’s Get Ravey remix of In The Kill by La Roux. Midnight shoppers at Tesco shuffling along in silence can only wish that they had the synthy delights of ‘don’t you want me baby’ to listen to.

“The official World Cup Match Attax trading cards are now available at Asda…”

We've rolled back nostalgia on Aisle 4

All things considered, I think my favourite thing about ASDA FM Live is its impressive knack of picking songs that no other radio station seem to give much thought to. Not only are they playing new songs by artists relatively unknown outside of the 6Music/XFM universe, (I heard Yeasayer and Summer Camp on there the other day), but even when they play things by known artists, it isn’t always the most recent song, or the one that was most successful or most heavily played. Maybe the tracks aren’t classics, but they can remind you of a memory or a person or a period of your life that you had forgotten about. If they can get that kind of emotional reaction out of people stood around in George @ ASDA looking at days-of-the-week socks then they must be doing something right as a radio station.

“An eye test is not just a way to find out if you need glasses…ASDA Opticians are working with the royal national institute of blind people…”

I don’t really want to hear the beep. I don’t really want to hear an alkie in Aisle 12 trying to prise the security lid off the own-brand vodka. I just want to get my shopping and leave. But doing that to the tune of  Ultravox would definitely make it more fun.

Review: One of the most unexpectedly good radio stations and it isn’t even on proper radio.

Related Links:
ASDA FM Live online stream

Superstore DJs: How Asda FM became the UK’s biggest radio station



Leave a Comment
  1. Loraine Milne / Jun 1 2010 10:41 pm

    Hi I’m trying to find the name and artist of a song that is currently being played on nightshift. I only know one line which is you are my ssss suffering. Quite a laid back song, male singer. Please help.

    • nickw84 / Jun 1 2010 11:41 pm

      I don’t know about the actual playlist of the station Lorraine. It’s a shame they don’t have a fuller website so people can find this stuff.
      I can guess, and I really hope I’m right here, by saying that that sounds like it could be Stuttering by Ben’s Brother. I think I’ve heard that while listening late.

  2. steve / Jan 6 2014 3:24 pm

    I work nights and there’s a track i keep hearing which i luv everytime i hear it. It’s not much to go on but the track sounds very much like Nickelback. I do hope you can help ?

    • derek / Jun 27 2014 4:49 am

      could be second chance by shinedown

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  6. shawn / Nov 12 2014 12:55 am

    My friend works at asda ahton on night shift , how can i request song?

  7. amanda prill / Sep 19 2015 6:07 pm

    Hi nick a song come on at 12.25 pm in asda bodmin today it was a male singer and the song lylics were this is the as I am trying to find out who sings this song as I love this song a lot it sounds like duran duran or world on the chous thank you from Amanda prill 😊

    • amanda prill / Sep 21 2015 6:43 pm

      The song was on again today at 13.25 pm in asda bodmin it said in the chous something solider and the song artist something jack

    • amanda prill / Sep 27 2015 1:48 pm

      Hi nick did you find out who sings that song I was on about as in are asda in bodmin when I am working on the grocery department with my grocery team you can’t hardly hear the music but the song artist was something jack as glenn on my grocery department said the man said it was something jack

  8. amanda prill / Oct 26 2015 6:50 pm

    Hi nick the song I was on about was on again today at 11.54am in asda Bodmin it was a male singer the song lylics were this we will meet again I send a message to you

  9. amandaprilloutlookcom / Feb 18 2016 8:13 am

    Hi nick there was a song on asda fm live on the interest website at 18.50 pm it was a female singer the words of the song were bulild on my chest your the fire shout my name im not like the rest turn all the and im not sorry im not ashamed thank you amanda 🎶

    • amandaprilloutlookcom / Feb 18 2016 8:14 am

      Forget to say it was on last night 17.2.16

    • amandaprilloutlookcom / Feb 18 2016 7:51 pm

      I have finally found the song I was on about it is Scarlett Rabe Battle Cry I really love this song alot and I love Scarlett voice on the chrous as she sounds like kelly clarkson 😊🎵🎶🎼

  10. Terry Wilson / Apr 22 2018 11:10 am

    Song what was played at 01.05 in the morning 22/4/18 please


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