Virgin Radio is a brand owned by the Virgin Group. Virgin Radio International was established in 2001 to develop the brand and has since built one of the world's most popular music radio franchises, broadcasting in multiple languages and music based formats in North America, Europe and Asia - including the Middle East - and has 18 million listeners worldwide. Virgin Radio stations in each country are owned independently of the Virgin Group and of each other and generally carry independent programming tailored to local tastes.
The first Virgin Radio branded station initially broadcast in the UK between 1993 and 2008 under several owners, but was renamed Absolute Radio after a further ownership change in 2008.
In January 2015, it was announced that Virgin Radio International and UTV Media had partnered to relaunch Virgin Radio subject to Ofcom awarding the necessary broadcast licence. In March 2015, Ofcom awarded a UK digital terrestrial commercial radio licence for Virgin Radio UK and the station is expected to launch in early 2016.