Feeds

BBC protects 'unique' 1Xtra listeners from radio cull

All gone a bit Pete Tong Logan's Run at 6Music

High performance access to file storage

The BBC has justified 1Xtra’s survival in the Corporation’s recent biz strategy cull by claiming that the station’s “unique” audience, which is made up of fewer listeners than death row candidate 6Music, is worthy of more investment.

In effect, the Beeb is keeping 1Xtra - which is its "new black music network" - alive despite it only attracting 550,000 listeners in the final quarter of last year, compared to 6Music’s UK audience reach of 700,000.

In the BBC’s 2008/09 financial year, the corporation plowed £9.6m into 1Xtra, making its output more expensive per head than 6Music, which the BBC spent £9m on in the same 12-month period.

At the same time, 6Music actually saw its audience reach jump conservatively ahead of 1Xtra last year.

The Register asked the BBC why, given the figures outlined, 1Xtra wasn’t also up for the axe at the corporation.

"1Xtra reaches a young audience that the BBC traditionally finds it hard to reach on any platform. Specifically, 1Xtra's 'unique' audience - people who don't listen to any other BBC radio output - is almost twice that of 6Music,” it told us.

The average age of a 1Xtra listener is 24, compared to 37 for 6Music. While the majority (58 per cent) of the station's audience is 15-24 compared to a measly 15 per cent of youngsters plugging their lugholes into 6Music, a BBC radio flack explained to El Reg.

1Xtra audience reach - Rajar

1Xtra flatlines, while 6Music marks conservative rise in listeners

According to the Beeb’s strategy review, which was published a week ago and is currently being mulled by the BBC Trust, editorial links between Radio 1 and 1Xtra will be “strengthened" over the next 18 months.

We asked the BBC if this meant that 1Xtra might be folded into Radio 1 rather than remaining out on a limb as a separate digital station.

“The network… benefits from being directly linked to Radio 1, meaning it can be supported and marketed more effectively than a stand-alone network like 6Music. 1Xtra will be developing even closer links to Radio 1 but will remain a separate network," it said.

Meanwhile, the Asian Network - which is also up for the chop at the BBC - saw its audience reach decline more than 14 per cent in the past year to 350,000 listeners, while at the same time costing the licence payer £12.1m in total overheads for the 2008/09 fiscal period. So perhaps the BBC has a better case to present to its governing body about why that station should be closed.

But it's a different story entirely when 6Music's RAJAR stats are compared with 1Xtra's audience performance. All of which leaves us wondering why the BBC is so obsessed with reaching out to its "unique" audience of few-and-far-between youngsters, who just so happen to slot into that lucrative 16-to-35-year-olds' bracket that preoccupies the minds of ad execs across the land.

Similarly, the corporation's TV channel BBC3, which is aimed at the same age group, has also avoided director-general Mark Thompson's axe.

Surely the BBC isn't trying to satisfy commercial interests, is it? ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.