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APART FROM SUDDEN PUBLIC
INTEREST IN 'BBC 6 MUSIC',
SMALL AUDIENCES OF DAB
RADIO STATIONS EXHIBIT SLOW
GROWTH
by
GRANT GOD...
The dramatic upswing in 'BBC 6 Music’s listening during the first quarter of 2010 did not
appear to have a knock-on effect...
LISTENING TO DIGITAL-ONLY RADIO STATIONS ('000
hrs/wk)
0
5,000
10,000
15,000
20,000
25,000
30,000
35,000
40,000
45,000
200...
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'Apart From Sudden Public Interest In "BBC 6 Music", Small Audiences Of DAB Radio Stations Exhibit Slow Growth' by Grant Goddard

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Analysis of Q1 2010 RAJAR audience ratings data of digital radio stations in the UK, written by Grant Goddard in May 2010 for Grant Goddard: Radio Blog.

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'Apart From Sudden Public Interest In "BBC 6 Music", Small Audiences Of DAB Radio Stations Exhibit Slow Growth' by Grant Goddard

  1. 1. APART FROM SUDDEN PUBLIC INTEREST IN 'BBC 6 MUSIC', SMALL AUDIENCES OF DAB RADIO STATIONS EXHIBIT SLOW GROWTH by GRANT GODDARD www.grantgoddard.co.uk May 2010
  2. 2. The dramatic upswing in 'BBC 6 Music’s listening during the first quarter of 2010 did not appear to have a knock-on effect on the BBC’s other digital radio stations [see graph]. '1Xtra' was up slightly but still lower than it was in 2009. 'Asian Network' dropped further and is now listened to less than part-time station 'Five Live Sports Extra'. LISTENING TO BBC DIGITAL-ONLY RADIO STATIONS ('000 hrs/wk) 0 1,000 2,000 3,000 4,000 5,000 6,000 7,000 8,000 2003Q1 2003Q2 2003Q3 2003Q4 2004Q1 2004Q2 2004Q3 2004Q4 2005Q1 2005Q2 2005Q3 2005Q4 2006Q1 2006Q2 2006Q3 2006Q4 2007Q1 2007Q2 2007Q3 2007Q4 2008Q1 2008Q2 2008Q3 2008Q4 2009Q1 2009Q2 2009Q3 2009Q4 2010Q1 BBC 7 BBC 6 Music 1Xtra Asian Network Five Live Sports Extra In the commercial radio sector, 'Planet Rock' recorded its best quarter yet and cemented its lead over all its digital-only competitors ('BBC 6 Music' excepted) [see graph]. Its continuing success only confirms that consumers prefer real programme content to the digital music jukeboxes whose performances are little more than limping along. LISTENING TO COMMERCIAL DIGITAL-ONLY RADIO STATIONS ('000 hrs/wk) 0 1,000 2,000 3,000 4,000 5,000 6,000 7,000 2003Q1 2003Q2 2003Q3 2003Q4 2004Q1 2004Q2 2004Q3 2004Q4 2005Q1 2005Q2 2005Q3 2005Q4 2006Q1 2006Q2 2006Q3 2006Q4 2007Q1 2007Q2 2007Q3 2007Q4 2008Q1 2008Q2 2008Q3 2008Q4 2009Q1 2009Q2 2009Q3 2009Q4 2010Q1 Planet Rock The Hits Smash Hits Heat Jazz FM Absolute Classic Rock Q Even with this most recent quarter’s boost from 'BBC 6 Music' and 'Planet Rock', total listening to digital-only stations has still shown almost no growth for three years [see graph]. Without the coincidence of those two successes, the latest quarter would have proven another disaster. Apart From Sudden Public Interest In 'BBC 6 Music', Small Audiences Of DAB Radio Stations Exhibit Slow Growth page 2 ©2010 Grant Goddard
  3. 3. LISTENING TO DIGITAL-ONLY RADIO STATIONS ('000 hrs/wk) 0 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 25,000 30,000 35,000 40,000 45,000 2003Q1 2003Q2 2003Q3 2003Q4 2004Q1 2004Q2 2004Q3 2004Q4 2005Q1 2005Q2 2005Q3 2005Q4 2006Q1 2006Q2 2006Q3 2006Q4 2007Q1 2007Q2 2007Q3 2007Q4 2008Q1 2008Q2 2008Q3 2008Q4 2009Q1 2009Q2 2009Q3 2009Q4 2010Q1 TOTAL (commercial + BBC) COMMERCIAL RADIO BBC RADIO The question is what the next quarter will look like. We have seen listening to 'BBC 6 Music' rise temporarily before at times when the channel has been in the press. Attracting listeners is only half the job. Keeping listeners is the much harder part. Does the 'BBC 6 Music' listening blip change the bleak outlook for digital radio stations? Not at all. Why? Because, even after this sudden upswing, '6 Music' still attracts only two-thirds of the volume of listening to 'Radio 3', the BBC’s least listened to analogue national network. 207% of almost nothing still equals very little. [First published by Grant Goddard: Radio Blog as 'Digital Radio Station Listening: A Blip In Time Saves 6?', 13 May 2010.] Grant Goddard is a media analyst / radio specialist / radio consultant with thirty years of experience in the broadcasting industry, having held senior management and consultancy roles within the commercial media sector in the United Kingdom, Europe and Asia. Details at http://www.grantgoddard.co.uk Apart From Sudden Public Interest In 'BBC 6 Music', Small Audiences Of DAB Radio Stations Exhibit Slow Growth page 3 ©2010 Grant Goddard

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