Back in 2002 when I was doing my twice weekly spot on The Big Breakfast I reviewed the early Digital Radio’s that were coming onto the market. I bought my first Digital Radio myself back then and immediately transformed by aural enjoyment of Test Match Special with a sound quality that considerably trumps Long and Medium waves (although that isn’t hard). It was back in 2002 that I first found 6 Music. Finally I had found the “soundtrack of our lives”. A wide church of a playlist that was eclectic, seemingly unfettered by a desire to reach a bloody heavily researched “target demographic”, that didn’t feel the need to be “down with the kids”, that didn’t feel the need to pander to crass celebrity culture, that treated music lovers with intelligence and broadened all musical knowledge.
In the past 8 years, 6 Music has become part of my life, it’s the station of choice for my kids (aged 23, 22, 19 and 12) and has given them an intelligent musical grounding that will set them up well for the rest of their lives, it is the only channel that the design team at HemingwayDesign listen to (my guess is that it’s the station of choice for The Creative Industries).
6 Music is being criticised for only having an audience of 700,000 (only??) and for it costing £7million a year to run , but when you look at some of the DJ’s wages on Radio 1 then it’s hard to justify any criticism of the 6 Music overhead.
In marketing terms 6 Music quite clearly is listened to by “opinion formers and market leaders”. I know from 29 years of being in business that in numerical terms the numbers of “opinion formers and market leaders” are small, but their contribution to the cultural and economic health of the nation is invaluable.
If the BBC are stupid enough to close 6 Music then it’s independent spirit, it’s intelligence will live on at the new annual cultural festival that I partly responsible for putting on this August…Vintage at Goodwood and just a small fraction of that 700,000 audience will keep me happy.