The station (which originally applied for its contract as "Spin FM") was one of three new ILR stations which were awarded franchises in October 1999. It was intended to provide an alternative for listeners younger than those catered for by the original two Dublin ILR stations, FM104 and Dublin's 98FM. The station however was subject to delays due to legal action from an unsuccessful opposing consortium, however finally took the air as Spin 1038 at 10:38am on 19 April 2002. Despite being initially known as "the dance licence", the station now plays mainly popular music.
Spin 1038 broadcasts mainly Top 40 music aimed at 15-34 year olds. Spin 1038 recently snapped up national DJ Nikki Hayes after she parted company with RTÉ. The station broadcasts various programming throughout the day with favourites such as Fully Charged, The Zoo Crew Hot 30 with Brian Maher and Dara Quilty and Spin Hits with Steve K. News bulletins entitled The Story are aired at quarter-to-the-hour (and at quarter-past-the hour during the weekday morning show) and consist of local, international, sport news and a five-word weather summary. The Inside Story (Entertainment news) is presented by Georgie Gavin.
The Zoo Crew Hot 30 hosted by Cormac Moore and Daniella Moyles, is Spin's most popular show. The show features comedy sketches. Every caller wins a prize. Listeners text into the station to vote for their favourite song. The top 30 songs of the day are played during the show, compiled by text voting. You can download the official Zoo Crew podcast 'The Zoocast' via iTunes.
A sister station, Spin South West, launched on 23 July 2007 in Kerry, Limerick, Clare, Tipperary and south-west Laois. The station is run from Raheen, Limerick and it is similar in format to SPIN 1038 but is independently managed and run. Spin South West can be picked up in most of Munster meaning it has a potential listenership of over a million people.
Spin FM also has a sister station in the Czech Republic, and recently launched in Jordan (Spin Jordan) after Communicorp started investing in Radio Broadcasting outside Europe, having Jordan as its first destination.