Monday, 1 March 2010

Copy of a complaint to the BBC about proposed closure of 6Music

I gather from a variety of news sources that plans are under consideration at the BBC to close 6music. I believe that this would be a profoundly retrograde step.

6music is the only national radio station to address its specific audience: those who wish to listen to an eclectic range of music from the 1960s to the present day. Even Planet Rock, the nearest comparison, has a more limited range of music styles and dates.

6music's quality of production is second to none, and its presenter line-up is stellar.

The _only_ reason why 6music has low figures is that it is only available on DAB.

Let's draw a comparison.

If BBC Radio 3 was a digital-only station, its listening figures would be dire. Even though R3 is on all formats, and 6Music only on digital, R3's listening hours are only three times those of 6Music.

The unavoidable conclusion is that if 6Music were on analogue as well, its figures would leave R3 in its dust.

And yet 6Music is apparently under threat, and R3 carries on regardless.

6Music has an excellent, high-value audience demographic, comprising individuals with broad musical tastes that are unsatisfied by any other radio station. From a personal perspective, R1 is too oriented to playlisted low-grade pop, frequently repeated, R2 is too staid and uninteresting, and the BBC offers me no other music programming (except for 6Music) that I'm interested to hear. I do listen to Radio 4. If 6Music were on FM analogue, I'd be listening to that in the car rather than R4, much of the time.

6Music is a superb asset that the BBC should nurture and exploit, not discard as it if were an inconvenience.If its closure is still under discussion, please do the sensible thing, and find a better, easier target. Even after the firestorm over GCap's attempted closure of Planet Rock, I do not believe you have the slightest idea of just how big a hole you would be digging for yourselves. Stop before you see kangaroos; that's my advice.

Jon Green

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