Friday, July 24, 2015

Go compare

The handy website Compare My Radio tracks the output of over 90 music radio stations across the UK, and produces for each what it calls a "Variety Gauge".

At 100%, it means that every song the station has played in the last 30 days has been different - quite a feat.  The current average across all the stations is 4%.

It includes four BBC networks. Radio 1 currently has a Variety Gauge of 39%; 1Xtra is at 40%; Radio 2 is on 61% and 6Music on 65%.

Of the bigger commercial stations, Absolute has a Variety Gauge of 21%, Magic 17%, Heart 13% and Capital a majestic 4%.  When they say "More Music", they mean "More of the same music". [The stats also reveal something about Radio 2's increased speech content - over 30 days, the station has played 6,829 tracks, compared with Capital's 9,876.]

Does this matter ? It does when we're heading for Charter Renewal. Look out for submissions from the music industry. More tracks means more room for new artists, and more opportunities to find a new star to make money here and around the world.

John Myers, who has worked both for the BBC and commercial radio, made some important points in a recent blog post - principally, that the big commercial groups are now making healthy profits, and yet...

...the industry has focused its efforts on providing low cost popular music services rather than investing in rich and more expensive content that may have challenged the BBC’s dominance more effectively. 

In my view, this has resulted in a poorer, blander and more predictable listen of late than at any time in its 40 odd year history....

Knowing what we know, anyone who thinks commercial radio will fill the gap in a diminished BBC is either drunk or deluded.

I'm really rather pleased to note this entry in the comments section of John's post, even if it was in the early hours...

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