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Music

BBC 6 Music posts record listening figures in its 20th year

BBC Radio 6 Music has achieved record listening figures in the first quarter of its 20th year of operation, its parent company, the BBC, has announced. The station was launched in 2002 to specifically focus on alternative music. At the time of launch, it was the first national music radio station that the BBC had launched in over 30 years. 

Now, according to the BBC, more than 2.8 million people tuned in to BBC Radio 6 Music in the first quarter of this year. It is the highest quarterly listening figure since RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research organisation) changed how it measures listening stats in the wake of the pandemic. 

The figures reveal that 1.41 million listeners tune in to 6Music for Lauren Laverne‘s breakfast show alone, a triumph for the station. Adding to this high number of listeners has been the 20th-anniversary celebrations, including its bumper festival in Cardiff back in March. 

RAJAR’s figures show that 33.81 million people tune into BBC Radio each week, with BBC Sounds receiving a record number of plays for its podcasts and on-demand radio programmes, with 179 million plays altogether. 

“How better to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the much loved BBC Radio 6 Music than with these figures!” BBC‘s Chief Content Officer, Charlotte Moore said. “They really illustrate the unique place that the station has in its listeners’ lives, with its eclectic schedule and specialist, passionate DJs who day in and day out champion music. Congratulations to everyone involved in making the station the success it continues to be!”

She continued: “And what a way to mark the return of our live music festivals this year, as we emerge from the pandemic and look ahead to Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Coventry, an eight week season of the BBC Proms and Radio 2 Live in Leeds, bringing big acts and a wide range of performances to audiences across the UK.”

“All our live stations provide millions of people with relevant, world-class content so brilliantly, and we also continue to see BBC Sounds grow as listening habits evolve, particularly amongst younger audiences,” Moore concluded.

Watch IDLES perform at the 2022 6 Music Festival below.

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