Tuesday, 19 June 2012

On The Radio One Playlist Right Now

Lostprophets on the A List and Newton Faulkner on the B List. It's what The Kids want to hear!!!

Also on the B List are Santigold, The Gaslight Anthem and Young Guns, while the C List features Kasabian and Lianne La Havas.

Presumably Radio 1's reliance on these type of acts - ie ones that not many young people really want to hear - is due in part to the unique way the BBC is funded. They have quotas to fill, having to prove as part of their remit that what they do isn't being and couldn't be done by a commercial rival. To their credit, they consistently achieve this, through their attempts at producing 'engaging' and 'exciting' 'online content', and the continued employment of Fearne Cotton. But at the same time, also because of the unique way the BBC is funded, they are obliged to ensure that the average age of their listeners falls somewhere between 15 and 29. Last year, some people made a bit of a brouhaha over reports that the figure they were actually pulling in was 32*. One man, a Radio One historian, said this: "there's a difference between what young people want and what hip people think they should want". So that's interesting.

In all likelihood even without the contradictory constraints of having to be 'unique' (playing Ben Howard and The Ting Tings) and attracting a young audience, the playlist would be much the same. If anything the people behind it would be quicker to drop Cheryl than Enter Shikari, because they probably do think their misguided and outdated hipster training school schtick is somehow cutting edge. But it's still a shame that it has to be like this.

Still, at least there's always an alternative in Capital.


*It probably doesn't help that people under the age of 15 aren't included in official ratings, but there we go.

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