The results of BBC Trust review of Radio 2 and 6 Music
As you know last summer the BBC Trust ran a public consultation to get your views on Radio 2 and its sister station 6 Music. We are very grateful that you took the time to take part. We have used the results of this consultation alongside our audience research to arrive at our conclusions regarding these two services. Today we have published our report.
With around 13 million listeners each week, Radio 2 is the nation’s most popular radio station. Our review has concluded that there is an opportunity to use the station’s appeal and influence to take more creative risks and be more distinctive, particularly in daytime, even though this more ambitious approach carries with it the risk that audience numbers could fall. This means, for example, refreshing comedy and arts programming and integrating some of this distinctive content into the peak time schedule.
We’d like the station to do more to appeal to audiences who are currently less likely to listen, including ethnic minorities, and it should also promote the benefits of newer technologies such as digital and internet radio.
Radio 2’s remit is to appeal to everyone over 35 but commercial radio stations have raised concerns that Radio 2 is targeting younger people at the expense of older listeners. We’ve found that the average age of a Radio 2 listener is 50 and have asked the station to ensure that this does not fall. We’ve also asked BBC management to address the recent decline in listeners aged over 65.
6 Music is well liked by its listeners, although these are relatively few in number. Over the last four years the station’s audience has grown faster than any other BBC digital radio-only service but the station is still only reaching one per cent of all UK adults. Low audience is compounded by low awareness, with just 20 per cent of all adults aware that the station exists.
The Trust’s report has concluded that the station should raise awareness and grow its audience. In doing so it should also seek to attract enthusiasts of alternative popular music from audience groups which are currently less likely to listen, particularly older listeners.
Audiences believe that 6 Music offers something which is not available on other radio stations and analysis shows that there is very little song overlap between Radio 2, 6 Music, Radio 1 and commercial radio.
The challenge for 6 Music is to grow its audience without changing the aspects which currently set it apart from other radio stations. One of the ways the station should do this is by ensuring presenters are not only popular but also have musical credibility to act as trusted guides for alternative music enthusiasts.
Both Radio 2 and 6 Music are taking steps to become more efficient and plan to save around £14 million by 2013. The Trust will closely monitor these savings and report progress in our annual report.
You can read the full report of our findings and recommendations by clicking here http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/our_work/ser...r2_6music.shtml
Thanks again for taking the time to give us your views.
Trust mailing list
If you would like to register to receive e-mail updates from the BBC Trust, including alerts to forthcoming consultations, please click here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/news/email_updates/index.shtml