OCR A Level H409 Spec BBC public broadcasting question Watch
Explain why popular music radio programmes struggle to gain recognition as Public Service Broadcasting.Refer to the BBC Radio One Breakfast Show to support your answer(15 marks)
The BBC Radio One Breakfast Show provides their 15-29 young adult to adult audience a diverse and varied selection of content, although its main focus is popular music. BBC Radio One has been branded the nation’s favourite station, and has historically has had popular music at the heart of its public service remit, which is to inform,educate and entertain. As of now, different BBC radio programmes have been operating under different remits , with BBC Radio One operating the remit to”entertain and engage a broad range of young listeners through a distinctive mix of contemporary music and speech”.
However there have been speculations that popular BBC music radio programmes may struggle to gain recognition as Public Service Broadcasters. One reason why this may be so is due to license fee funding. All TV consumers are forced to pay for the licence fee through taxation, and some of those consumers may feel like they are paying music that they don’t enjoy or may prefer only one genre of music. This can cause those audiences to switch to a competitor like Capital FM or Magic for a consistent niche genre of content which can reduce audience figures for BBC Radio One. Although license fee funding cause some audiences to switch to other radio stations, it allows BBC more modes of distribution, like livestreaming and podcasting on BBC iPlayer. For example, on BBC iPlayer every week on a Friday a new “Best Bits” of Nick Grimshaw’s BBC Breakfast Show is shown as episodes and is available to download.
Using digital convergence allows Radio One to successfully target their intended audience (15-29 year olds), as audiences within this age range are most likely to use online media to consume radio. This is proven by the official body in charge of measuring radio audiences in the UK, RAJAR who have said that over 60% of adults aged 15+ are listening to the radio via a digital platform in terms of weekly reach.
This leads on to my third reason for why popular music programmes struggle to gain recognition like BBC Radio One may struggle to gain recognition as Public Service Broadcasters; technological advancements. As times change, tuning into popular BBC radio stations traditionally has become less popular, with audience numbers reducing year on year for the BBC Breakfast Show since Nick Grimshaw took over as the host. This is proven by RAJAR's figures, which state that audience numbers have dropped to 5 million listeners in terms of traditional radio listening. This may be an example of how the addition of how the addition of a young host like Nick Grimshaw has caused the BBC Breakfast Show to lose its popular appeal. However, it can be argued digital convergence has helped increase the popularity and raise the online profile of popular BBC radio stations like BBC Radio One. This can be proven by audience numbers on social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook, with Radio One’s total YouTube views reach over 1.6 billion, and their monthly Facebook views reaching over 80 million monthly views. With the use of social media platforms and their BBC iPlayer website BBC Radio One has become the most popular radio station in the UK, proving BBC’s Radio Controller Ben Cooper statement that the station should not just be judged solely on RAJAR figures.
My fourth reason for why popular music video programmes may struggle to gain recognition as PSB’s may be due to regulations put in place by Ofcom. Since Ofcom is a government regulation service, BBC Radio will not be allowed to present or advertise their own views unless it’s in the government’s best interest. This makes popular BBC Radio programmes biased, and breaks one of the core PSB requirements , which is to benefit the public , as they are not exposed to a variety of unbiased beliefs on certain topics.
However , by regulating the BBC , Ofcom can make sure that their content is safe enough for audiences to listen to. For example, if popular BBC Radio programmes like BBC Radio One to projecting musical content that contains inappropriate or offensive lyrics , Ofcom will regulate this by telling BBC to censor these lyrics , so that older audiences can make sure that their children younger are not exposed to inappropriate lyrics.
Overall . I don’t think the BBC Radio One Breakfast Show are not struggling to gain recognition as PSB’s , as they are still adhering to PSB requirements through digital convergence(e.g. BBC iPlayer , social media platforms etc). Although they have deviated away from standard radio listening , BBC Radio One have been able to attract high numbers in their core target audience(16-25 year olds) through digital convergence. Through this BBC Radio has become the most popular radio station in the UK.