Media Top Stories

BPI reveal results of 6 fans survey

By | Published on Thursday 13 May 2010

Talking of the save 6 campaign, record label trade body the BPI has been surveying listeners of the BBC digital radio station via its previously reported website, and has published some of its findings. The BPI, like the rest of the music industry, want BBC bosses to rethink their plans to shut the music station, or for the BBC Trust to block the proposals. 

Unsurprisingly, nearly everyone surveyed on the joyof6 site said they liked discovering new music, and 70% strongly disagreed with the suggestion they “preferred music they were familiar with”. Nearly a half of those surveyed said they listened to 6 daily, while a further third said they listened several times a week. Pretty much everyone said 6 played a lot of music they just didn’t hear on other stations, and three quarters said they had been to see bands play live after hearing them on 6.  

I’m not sure any of that is much of a surprise. Perhaps more surprising is that 80% of those surveyed said they listened to 6music, at least some of the time, via the DAB digital radio network, compared to 53% who accessed the station via the web, and 36% who listened through their TV. 

That stat would possibly suggest one proposed compromise to put to BBC bosses who want the station closed – that 6 become a cheaper-to-run internet only service – wouldn’t be very satisfactory to a large part of the station’s most dedicated listeners. It possibly also adds credence to the argument that now – when the wider radio industry is desperately trying to persuade more people to buy DAB radios – is precisely the wrong time to be turning popular DAB-based services like 6music off. 

Commenting on the stats, BPI CEO Geoff Taylor told CMU: “6music’s listeners have told us that they love discovering new bands, and, for them, the station is airing new music that isn’t getting playlisted elsewhere. The proposed closure of 6music would mean less exposure for new music, which would have a significant and negative impact on Britain’s cultural heritage”.

The survey stats were published as another string of big name artists added their support to the BPI-organised Save 6 website. Coldplay, La Roux and some decent bands are among the latest artists to go public with their 6 support, though our favourite of the latest quotes comes from Icelanders Sigur Rós, who write: “Take it from a country who knows a thing or two about both financial ruination and cultural isolation, do not cut this service. Britain needs this grass roots exposure for new music and great old music, or else it’s going to be wall-to-wall X-fucking-factor and the ‘consumer-analysis’ marketing nincompoops will have won”.

In related news, the Association Of Independent Music earlier this week gave its support to a poster campaign being organised by perennial campaigners 38 Degrees calling on the BBC to rethink its plans to close both 6 and the Asian Network. The campaigning group have put up billboards in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leicester, London and Manchester, where possible in the vicinity of BBC buildings 

AIM boss Alison Wenham said she liked the fact the 38 Degrees campaign in particular was involving people from the comedy and journalism communities as well as musicians and music fans, observing: “So many different groups are going to be badly affected by the proposal to axe 6music, so we felt it was [right] to join forces [with 38 Degrees] to make a general point on behalf of the creative community”.