Being forced to listen to 6Music

I really really hate 6Music. I am forced to listen to it in the office all day. Every day.

What’s also very annoying is that quite a lot of people I know like it. When I was at GCap the first thing I used to look at when the RAJAR‘s came out was to see whether Planet Rock was still beating 6Music. Generally it did, and that made me happy. It wasn’t as if I really liked Planet Rock that much either. It just pleased me that more people listened to a significantly less well funded station. Now, I know that’s not very nice. It’s just the way I felt.

It would be easier to hold my moral high ground if 6Music hadn’t got any better since it started. But annoyingly it has. When it first started generally every link would sound like this: “here’s a B side from [an unknown] single from an amazing [unknown] artist. Only twelve copies were pressed and I own eight of them”. This would be at 11 o’clock in the morning. Even through my winge-tinted spectacles it’s obviously better now and at least has some stationality and music flow. It does, however, reak of being white and middle class.

Case in point, they just played House of Pain, Jump Around. It’s a brilliant song. A great one to dance into a nightclub to, and go ‘woo’ when those opening chords hit. A song that brings back memories, is passionate, revolutionary. But it was just played in a segue. I don’t doubt that the jocks have passion for the music, indeed House of Pain was played by Steve Lamaq, but it’s just executed in the same way that a muso would flick through some albums in a record shop, find one he liked and then nod his head and smile. It just makes it seem part of an all-knowing club that i’m not a part of.

The exellent thing about digital radio is that there’s choice and I think it’s good that there’s a station that I don’t like and other people do. I just think the danger with 6 is that it’s going to appeal to a hardcore white, middle-classed audience and never grow its audience that much further. If it’s the BBC station between Radio 1 and Radio 2, the one that celebrates ‘music’, it needs to move away from its obsession with indie-gold and embrace, Radio 3 style a true cross-section of popular music*.

*yes, yes, specialist shows exist but daytime should be the true incarnation of great music from the last 30 years.

5 thoughts on “Being forced to listen to 6Music”

  1. “Great music from the last 30 years”? What, you mean great hits from the 80s the 90’s and today? Well its a long shot brand-wise but it might just pay off I suppose.

  2. You’re so wrong, 6Music rocks.

    Their new approach of having comedian-led shows at the weekend really pays off. Especially as the presenters have the freedom to let the links go on as long as they like.

    Weekday schedule is pretty good at the moment too.

    I also get the feeling, judging from the people who phone it, that it has quite a student following – so definitely not middle-aged.

    Music Week is a bit too ‘industry’, but generally the station works well.

    And no ads 🙂

  3. Wow, rambly links from ‘comedians’. Wooo.

    I didn’t neccessariy say it was middle-aged more middle-class. I still don’t think there’s a need for Student Radio Gold.

    Frankie, I’m afraid you still haven’t sold it to me.

  4. Sorry fella, 6 Music music-wise is pretty much how Xfm should sound even though the imaging isn’t as good and it’s slightly too earnest and speech heavy…. Enthusiasm for the wide range of music shines through too. You never get the ‘haven’t heard it in ages’ on Xfm or practically any other station (Radio 2 excepted maybe).

    I’d also rather listen to Keaveny than Alex Zane, Gideon Coe is as strong as ever and Lamacq’s a bit of a legend really.

    And it’s got to be better to listen to than Xu hasn’t it?

  5. Opps, I managed to read your ‘middle-class’ comment as ‘middle-aged’. Middle-class and white? Yeah, maybe. It’s certainly not urban.

    The point about 6Music is its music cred though, which as andrewt says, is fairly rare elsewhere. By definition that makes it less mainstream and less about popular music, but surely that kind of middle ground is more than adequately catered for elsewhere?

    It might never grow its audience much (though ought to be able to retain its share of a growing digital radio audience), but that shouldn’t matter that much – 6Music needs to stay fairly niche to retain its appeal.

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