Grimmy statistics: Radio 1 chief Ben Cooper defends strategy after breakfast show drops 1m listeners
Tuesday 28 May 2013
Radio 1 chief Ben Cooper has defended the station's music strategy after its breakfast show lost almost one million listeners.
Recent figures showed Nick Grimshaw had dropped 950,000 listeners in the six months since he took over from Chris Moyles.
His latest figures are 5.78 million - the lowest since Sara Cox hosted the show in 2003 - but the BBC has said it is concentrating "on a younger demographic" after the BBC Trust demanded it focus on under-30s.
Former Radio 1 breakfast show presenter Mike Smith criticised Radio 1's strategy, telling the Radio Times: "They say they're going for a younger audience - that's just wrong. Relentlessly chasing youth is going to piss off more people than it will attract.
"I don't know why the BBC is slavishly following demographics invented by advertisers when they don't take advertising. They should target attitude, not age. Whatever age you are, chasing demographics is terrible news for listeners."
Cooper told the magazine that Radio 1 is having internal discussions about some of their DJs' playlists being available to stream or buy when they finish their shows.
He said of pursuing younger listeners: "The BBC has traditionally brought in younger audiences by playing them new music on Radio 1.
"If that stops and a generation doesn't get the BBC habit, it's almost an existential problem for the corporation. There are some fundamental questions the BBC needs to be asking itself if the Trust places that responsibility in our hands.
"The key one is - what does radio look like on a screen? Because that's where the listeners we're charged with reaching are right now."
He added: "We need to work out if we see YouTube as a competitor or a partner. I think as kids get used to playing the tracks they want on YouTube or streaming services, we'll have to focus on live events and curating tastes - I don't want to wake up to a Spotify playlist, I want a warm human voice."
He admitted: "We are having internal discussions, though, about, say, Tim Westwood's playlist being available to stream or buy when he finishes his show.
"There are problems with rights - but it's something we need to explore, even if that risks the actual radio becoming the place fewer people hear the music."
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
Better Call Saul creator Peter Gould on the creative concerns of a prequel, season 2 and the mind-numbing realities of the small courts
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Doctor Who film will definitely happen, leaked Sony emails reveal
Glastonbury 2015 tickets: How to make sure you’re successful in Sunday's re-sale
The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer has leaked – watch
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling