Dunlop claimed his drivetime slot averaged 80,000 listeners, and that he employs 40 staff. These claims were disputed by various experts in the radio industry during 2007. As of November 2007, Hitz Radio was investigated by Trading Standards over these claims, and questioned about operating without the licenses which radio stations require.
According to Radio Today, Hitz Radio came under fire from some in the UK radio industry.
In common with most online radio stations, there were no independently verified figures on the audience of Hitz Radio.
In March 2007, Hitz Radio claimed 250,000 listeners, with the peak slot averaging 80,000 listeners. In May 2007, Dunlop claimed Hitz Radio had "around five million people from all over the world visiting at any one time."
Hitz Radio received an industry award in 2007, and was a regional winner for a second. The Daily Record awarded its 2007 Our Heroes Business Award to Ryan Dunlop and Hitz Radio, described in the award-winners list as having "5 million fans." Ryan Dunlop and Hitz Radio were also the regional winner for south west Scotland in the Shell Livewire 2007 Scottish Young Entrepreneur Awards.
Investigation by Trading Standards
Trading Standards also found that despite Dunlop's claims, Hitz Radio was in fact operating without licenses from the Phonographic Performance Limited or Mechanical Copyright Protection Society, which are required to operate a radio station.
"The Final Countdown"
Hitz Radio ended online broadcasting on June 2, 2008 with a 2-hour show presented live by Dunlop entitled "The Final Countdown." It took the form of a music request show interspersed with highlights from HitzRadio's time on air. During it he courted controversy by calling people in the radio industry "tits"; and making claims that the station could possibly be moving to New York. He continually called Hitz Radio "the world's biggest / greatest radio station" during the broadcast.
Hitz Radio re-launched an online broadcast on September 14, 2008 in the form of its new music radio station Hitz Radio Xtra, again with no evidence of royalty fee being paid.
Proposal to strike off
The "parent company" of Hitz Radio UK, which also claimed to operate a record label and a television production company amongst others, which is solely run by Ryan Dunlop has been proposed to be struck off the companies register after the non-filing of returns or accounts. The same situation is also in place for Hitz Radio Ltd, which is also under proposal to strike off for the same reasons. They have since been dissolved.
- Booth, Robert (2007-03-04). "Teen tycoon hits paydirt with shed radio station". London: The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2007-06-14.
- Mills, Rod (26 February 2007). "5 Million Listeners.. and Radio Boss Ryan is only 15". Daily Record. Archived from the original on 11 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-14.
- "Listen out for The Big Listen". Radio Today. 10 June 2007.
Ryan [Dunlop] came under fire recently within the industry.(Registration required)
- Wilson, Stuart (2007-11-28). "DJ's claims out of tune". Ayrshire Post. Archived from the original on 24 February 2008.
- Hitz TV First Coverage, Hitz TV now broadcasts 24 hours a day.
- "About Hitz Radio Limited". Hitz Radio. Retrieved 2007-06-14.
- "About me". Ryan Dunlop. Retrieved 2007-06-14.[dead link]
- "Archived copy of hitzradio.co.uk". Internet Archive. 2004-12-14. Archived from the original on 2004-12-14. Retrieved 2007-06-14.
- "Hitz Radio Ltd (SC309461)". Companies House. Archived from the original on 2008-12-29. Retrieved 2007-06-14.
- Wilson, Stuart (May 23, 2007). "Ayr's King of Spin". icNetwork. Archived from the original on 8 February 2012. Retrieved 2007-06-14.
- Mackinnon, Lachlan (21 May 2007). "Business Hero: Ryan Dunlop". The Daily Record. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-16.
- Daily Record Our Heroes video
- "Our Heroes 2007". The Daily Record. Archived from the original on 11 September 2009. Retrieved 2007-07-30.
- "Shell Livewire Finalist (Scottish)". Shell Livewire. Archived from the original on October 20, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-30.
- "Companies House". Retrieved 2009-04-15.