BBC Trust launches review of the BBC’s six music radio stations

Date: 07.08.2014     Last updated: 24.03.2016 at 11.49
The BBC Trust today begins its biggest review of radio, which will look at how well the BBC’s six network music radio stations– Radio 1, 1Xtra 2, 3, 6 Music and Asian Network - are performing.

A three month public consultation also starts today and the Trust is inviting BBC radio listeners to get in touch with their views on the six stations through an online consultation. Listeners can also give their thoughts to the consultation via Twitter using the hashtag #trustreview.

This is the Trust’s second review of each of the music radio stations but the first to look at all six in the round.

The Music Radio review, which was announced in February 2014, will over the coming months assess whether each of the six BBC stations is fulfilling the commitments defined in its service licence, which set out what the public can expect of BBC services; whether any changes to the licences are needed; and whether the stations are good value for money.

The review will also consider whether the six stations are adequately supporting UK, live and new music, whether they are offering listeners a wide range of music genres, and how well equipped they are to respond to the evolution of radio and music as consumers’ habits change.

Each of the stations carries a varying amount of speech content and the Trust will also be looking at this speech output (excluding news and current affairs) as part of the review. A separate service review of the BBC’s Speech Radio stations will launch later this year.

The Music Radio review will follow up the Executive’s progress on the Trust’s previous reviews of the radio stations and examine the extent to which the BBC’s music radio services are providing distinctive programming, which listeners around the UK can enjoy.

BBC Trustee Bill Matthews, who is jointly leading the review, said:

“We are fortunate in Britain to have an immensely rich musical heritage and this is reflected in the range and variety of the BBC’s music radio stations.

“From classical to folk, country to grime, the BBC must cater for all tastes and provide something for anyone who loves music.

“We want to encourage listeners to get in touch and tell us how they think the BBC’s six music radio stations are doing.”

In addition to the public consultation, the Trust will conduct audience research and consult with BBC Radio and industry stakeholders.

The terms of reference for the Music Radio review can be found here.

The final conclusions of the review will be published in early 2015.

Notes to editors

1. Each BBC service is reviewed against its licence at least once every five years. More information on service reviews carried out by the Trust can be found here along with links to the Trust’s review of Radio 1 and 1Xtra as services for younger audiences; the review from 2010 for Radio 2 and 6Music, the review of Radio 3 in 2011 and the Asian Network in 2012.

2. The Trust publishes a report setting out its view on progress against service reviews annually. The Trust’s 2014 Service Review progress report can be found here.

3. Market impact, editorial standards, the BBC’s content supply arrangements and talent pay are all out of scope of the review. Content supply and talent pay are being reviewed separately this year by the Trust.

5. BBC Trustee Bill Matthews is jointly leading the review with fellow BBC Trustee Nick Prettejohn.