Thursday, August 01, 2013

Great BBC Proms but how about the bigger picture?


Independent audience data for Q2 2013 released this morning from RAJAR shows that the audience for BBC Radio 3 declined by 2.1% over the last twelve months and fell below the crucial 2 million threshold, although there was a small compensating increases in listening hours. This decline in audience was the exception in a strong twelve months for radio, with BBC Radio 4 - a good benchmark for Radio 3 - increasing audience by 4.3% and Classic FM by 2.4%. The success of a radio station cannot be measured solely by audience size. But these latest figures confirm that Radio 3 is losing the battle for both the serious and 'classical light' audiences. It is significant that the BBC News story above highlights the record audience figures for other BBC Radio networks but is silent about Radio 3. At some point the lacklustre performance of Radio 3 will be reflected in a reduced share of the license fee funding pot. Which means the mismanagement of the station is putting at risk not only the future of classical radio, but also the future of the Proms, five leading orchestras and the largest new music commissioning budget in the world. Yes, there are a lot of good things currently going on at the BBC Proms. But that is not an excuse for ignoring the bigger picture.

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4 comments:

John Babb said...

Unfortunately things will not change whilst Roger Wright is in charge - he has too big a stake in the regrettable changes that have taken place in recent years. For me, there are simply too many hours a day when you do not know what music you are going to hear or whether you will be hearing complete works. The copying of Classic FM is futile.

Pliable said...

John, I agree with every word you say.

When will they ever learn?

Pliable said...

More on these latest audience figures here - http://www.overgrownpath.com/2013/08/radio-3-loses-14-of-its-audience-how.html

Andrew Morris said...

When was the last time Radio 3 took any kind of risk? And I don't mean playing nothing but Brahms for the whole day, but some kind of real test to the limits of what radio can do? Classic FM never could stretch the boundaries, because it is the safety of the format and product that attracts many listeners.

There are things I still enjoy on Radio 3, but the daytime is often a no-go zone of twee interviews and unthreatening greatest hits. Why should anyone equipped with curiosity and intelligence care about any of that?