Digital 6 Music set to overtake Radio 3 in BBC radio music listening battle

 

The BBC’s 6 Music station encroached upon Radio 3’s turf last year when it staged its first Prom. Now the digital network is threatening to overtake Radio 3 in the audience battle after figures showed that the two stations are separated by just 30,000 listeners.

6 Music, the home of cutting-edge “alternative” music which the BBC wanted to close in 2010, has attracted a record weekly audience of 1.96 million listeners, according to Rajar.

Despite being restricted to DAB, mobile and online listeners, 6 Music is poised to overtake Radio 3, whose audience dipped to 1.99 million listeners during the last quarter.

The 6 Music audience has doubled since a campaign to save it from closure persuaded the BBC Trust to reject the management proposal.

With a daily schedule featuring popular broadcasters including Lauren Laverne and Steve Lamacq, 6 Music has also strayed into Radio 3 territory with Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone exposing experimental classical and jazz recordings as well as rock obscurities.

The first 6 Music Prom, held at the Royal Albert Hall during the regular Proms season, included Laura Marling, The Stranglers and the London Sinfonietta, playing works by Varèse, Berio and John Adams.

Tickets have sold out for the first 6 Music Festival, headlined by Damon Albarn, will be held in Manchester this Summer.

Radio 3 however has suffered a post-Proms dip with its audience falling below the 2 million figure, seen as a benchmark for the network. The 1.99 million figure is down from 2.06m last year. The network’s audience share fell to 1.1% from 1.3% last year.

Radio 3 has introduced schedule changes over the last quarter, including a new Monday night opera slot and a commitment to a live concert every evening with the introduction of an evening concert slot at the weekends.

Classic FM, Radio 3’s commercial rival, whose audience rose to 5.6 million, has accused the BBC station of seeking to boost its audience by playing a “lighter” repertoire and shorter extracts of works.

Roger Wright, Radio 3 Controller, said the schedule changes demonstrated “clear water” between the two stations.

The BBC said the Radio 3 audience figure frequently fluctuates around the 2 million mark and normally falls back after the Proms season.

Figures for the Radio 3 breakfast show have however begun to rise since Clemency Burton-Hill took over a weekday role in December.

Radio 3’s Spring schedule will be led by an unaired and little-known screenplay by Dylan Thomas, discovered at a house in Australia.

The Rajar figures also showed that Nick Grimshaw has begun to reverse an audience slump in the Radio 1 Breakfast Show. The presenter added 700,000 listeners over the quarter to register a weekly audience of 6.29 million. Radio 1’s audience as a whole fell slightly over the past year.

Radio 2’s weekly audience grew to a new high of 15.5 million, up from 14.9m in the last quarter. The Chris Evans Breakfast Show drew a record audience of 9.82 million listeners every week, up 300,000 over the previous year.

Radio 4 also posted a record weekly audience of 11.21 million. Its figures were boosted by artist Grayson Perry’s Reith Lectures and a strong performance by the Today programme, where Mishal Husain established herself as a successful addition to the presenting team.

Gwyneth Williams, Controller Radio 4, said: “I’m thrilled that audiences continue to enjoy Radio 4 and the breadth and depth of programmes that we offer. Where else would you find Grayson Perry delivering his Reith Lectures, Mishal Husain as a welcome new presenter on Today, Andrew Dilnot charting the history of Britain in numbers and Olivia Colman and Natasha McElhone in the heartbreaking drama ‘Goodbye’?”

Despite the challenge from streaming music services and other on-demand competitors, radio listening is at its highest level since records began in 1999, with 48.38 million people (91% of the population aged 15 and over), listening to radio each week.

A Radio 3 spokesman said: “BBC Radio 3 is proud to bring to so many people our distinctive blend of high quality classical and cultural content. Our audience of around two million has remained stable since this Rajar methodology was established. It is good to see our Breakfast audience build on last quarter’s figure and our unique offer of a live concert every evening attract such attention.”

Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010

GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan

FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head

Arts and Entertainment
Måns Zelmerlöw performing

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Norton was back in the commentating seat for Eurovision 2015

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May on stage

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Radio
Arts and Entertainment

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
film
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Comics
Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
music
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

music
Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

books
Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

tv
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

    The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

    How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
    Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

    Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

    'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

    How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

    Art attack

    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
    Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

    Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

    Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
    Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

    'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

    Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
    10 best wedding gift ideas

    It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

    Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
    Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

    Paul Scholes column

    With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
    Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

    Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

    Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
    Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

    Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

    The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
    Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
    Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

    Fifa corruption arrests

    All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
    Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

    The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

    In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

    Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
    Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

    How Stephen Mangan got his range

    Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor