Radio 1's Ben Cooper pledges back-to-basics move after RAJAR drop

Radio 1's Ben Cooper pledges back-to-basics move after RAJAR drop

BBC Radio 1 controller Ben Cooper has told Music Week the station must “work harder” on its strategy as its audience figures continued to decline.

Radio 1 was down 8.1% year-on-year and 4.8% quarter-on-quarter, according to the latest RAJAR figures, attaining a weekly reach of 9.1 million.

Cooper reiterated RAJAR results “are just a part of the story” for the station, but conceded it might need to alter its “listen, watch, share” approach.

“We need to work harder at the traditional ‘listen’ part of our strategy,” he said. “We have spent a lot of time on air pushing our audiences to watch and share and, actually, it’s time for the watch and the share part of our strategy to now push back to the mothership of listen.”

Radio 1’s Breakfast Show With Nick Grimshaw fell to a new low of 5.14m weekly listeners, compared to 5.43m in Q1 last year and 5.37m in Q4 2016.

“I don’t read too much into that,” said Cooper. “Radio 1 is more important than ever in breaking new British music. The energy, the buzz, the zeitgeist that Radio 1 and its Breakfast Show can create in audiences is second to none. Streaming can’t do that, radio can.”

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