The official listening figures were released by Radio Joint Audience
Research (RAJAR). BBC 6 Music, with its mix of archive and new music,
had a reach of 154,000. 1Xtra, the black music station, achieved
the greatest reach attracting 331,000 listeners. BBC 7 which showcases
comedy, drama, readings and children's programmes had a reach of
236,000. This figure rises to 350,000 when children aged under 15
are included. This suggests that the specially commissioned programmes
are succeeding in attracting children to speech radio.
An official release informs that each of these networks achieves
a share of 0.1 per cent, This indicates that listeners are spending
a generous amount of time with the new stations. 6 Music listeners
are tuning in for around five hours a week. This represents the
longest amount of time spent with any of the new listeners.
The World Service recorded a reach of 1,411,000, compared with
1,463,000 last quarter, and a share of 0.7 per cent. The Asian Network,
which now broadcasts across the UK on digital (as well as on medium
wave in the Midlands), showed overall reach of 495,000 compared
with last quarter's 421,000.
BBC's director of radio and music Jenny Abramsky added, " Apart
from Sports Extra, designed to give Five Live listeners greater
choice, the new networks were created to reach new and underserved
audiences and contribute something completely distinctive in the
ever more crowded radio marketplace. I am particularly pleased with
the signs that 1Xtra, like the Asian Network, appears to be reaching
sections of the community who have felt marginalised by the BBC
and I'm delighted that children are turning to BBC 7.
" The age of digital radio has come at last and the BBC has
played a crucial role in getting us there. Although the proliferation
of new services must inevitably impact upon the BBC's share, I am
convinced that spearheading the move to digital was right for the
future of the whole radio industry."
The quarter saw all BBC reach at 31,790,000 compared to Commercial
Radio's 31,573,000. Despite the ever-increasing competition, the
BBC's share was 51.8 per cent compared to Commercial Radio's 46.2