Mixing Things Up
This week's 6 Mix on BBC 6 Music, hosted by legendary Detroit techno DJ Derrick May, seems to have caused quite a stir. A cursory search around the web and Twitter shows that the his two-hour mix has been blogged, tweeted and seeded further than anyone might have expected. Given all this attention, it might surprise people to know that Derrick's show went out at 9pm on Saturday; a time when most dance music fans are out on the town getting ready for the long night ahead.
Legendary techno DJ Derrick May
The online popularity of this, and other recent 6 Mixes from Erol Alkan and Belgian DJ duo 2ManyDJs, is proof that analogue scheduling is increasingly irrelevant to specialist music consumers. In fact, I'd argue that the most important time for mix shows is actually Monday morning, when haggard ravers return to their desk jobs and immediately go to the iPlayer looking for uplifting music and minimal chatter to get them through the start of the week.
At 6 Music, we've recently started to market 6 Mix as predominantly a listen again proposition, approaching talent with large digital presence (including Alkan, Orbital, May and veteran techno head Andrew Weatherall) to helm the show on a regular basis. DJs like these have big and dedicated online followings on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, who they can easily direct straight to listen again - a much more effective strategy than running a trail in, say, a daytime show would be.
Dance music consumers in particular tend to be very digitally active and we've encouraged both talent and their fans to tweet, blog and spread the word about the show, hopefully drawing some of them back into the 6 Music community. Artists like Derrick May benefit because it gives them an opportunity to share their music with their fans outside of the clubs as well as being given credibility by the BBC brand; we benefit by attracting new listeners into our digital 'space' who will hopefully then enjoy content we generate.
It's not a conventional way of marketing a radio station or programme, but if 6 Music is a genuinely digital radio station why should it conform to the old analogue rules?
You may have better things to do on a Saturday night, but hopefully we can make your Monday mornings that bit more pleasurable.