STAR Radio, the newly launched venture of Hong Kong-based STAR TV, is set to get householders humming the Beatles, with several affiliates in Asian countries having expressed interest in signing up for the service. 'We intend a package of regional all-music channels,' a spokesman for STAR said. The main service is billed as 'international contemporary adult music' and will include the Beatles, Mariah Carey, the Rolling Stones and other songs from the 1950s and onwards. The other STAR radio stations are more localised - with Mandarin songs, Hindi, English and international hits and other themes that will appeal to more regional audiences. STAR Radio pulls on the experience of fellow News Corporation subsidiary Sky Radio, which already provides a set of transnational music channels in Europe. Everything is recorded in advance, 'with talk from our DJs kept to an absolute minimum'. So far, the service, launched on March 30, has attracted the attention of several big potential advertisers. They will, according to the business plans, ultimately, provide the revenue for STAR Radio. The idea of buying an all-music station with regular short time-slots that can be customised for local commercials or news broadcasts, has a wide appeal for terrestrial broadcasters. A spokesman said that no market research had yet been possible to gauge the market penetration of the venture. 'It is difficult to estimate now, although we do have plans for market research,' she said. 'We've only been going for four months and, at the moment, it's completely free-to-air to our TV viewers. 'If you get STAR TV, you automatically get STAR radio,' she said. 'If you live in a condominium, it is probably necessary for the management to re-tune the system to allow you to pick it up.' No extra cost is involved. Other recent ventures for the satellite station include new Hindi movie and entertainment channels for the southern beam, in conjunction with Zee TV. 'The service is extremely popular in India. For example, the India-specific ads for Channel V, our music channel, are completely sold-out, which shows that the advertisers are convinced we're reaching the right audience.' The market in Japan also promises to take off this year. 'We were one of only two international broadcasters to be invited in [to Japan, after they lifted their ban on international TV transmissions this year].' Together with most other satellite broadcasters who were looking to launch or expand their Asia coverages, the failure of Apstar2 - which blew up on launch in China last year - had been a blow. She said STAR had now extended its contract to stay with its current satellite - AsiaSat1 - until 1999.