Radio 1's Top 40 to move to Friday night in shortened slot as chart show shake-up begins

Greg James will take over from Clara Amfo in the shortened Friday night slot

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The Independent Culture

Radio 1’s Top 40 on Sunday is to move to Friday in a shorter slot in what many will see as the last hurrah for the UK music chart.

The move follows the decision from the music industry in the UK to change the release date for all new music from Sunday to Friday, starting this summer.

Audience figures for the UK Top 40 have been in decline since it began broadcasting on Radio 1 nearly 50 years ago. It currently attracts around 1.2 million listeners a week.

The new Friday night show, which will begin in mid-July, will be presented by Radio 1’s Greg James in a two hour slot instead of its current three hour session.

Radio 1 controller Ben Cooper said the station had to compete with the likes of internet giants Amazon, Google and Apple, which recently poached the station’s long-serving presenter Zane Lowe

He added that young listeners were obsessed with their smartphones but no longer tuned in to the radio in the same way as previous generations of music-lovers, with listeners among the ages of 10 and 14 having halved in a decade.

“As a person running a traditional radio station, you should be afraid, you should be very afraid,” he told The Guardian.

“The BBC needs to stop thinking about TV channels and radio stations and think about content for certain demographics. If we don’t adapt, we will die.”

Commercial radio stations that broadcast their own top 40 are also expected to follow suit and move their chart shows to Friday night.

The UK top 40 has attempted to adapt to the changing ways music fans consume music, recently taking into consideration streaming data for the first time.

The chart has included digital downloads since 2006.

Read more: How the Top 40 stays relevant in the age of YouTube
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