7digital’s Recent Radio Production Milestones

7digital’s Recent Radio Production Milestones


BBC Radio shows produced by Smooth Operations and Unique The Production Company now reach almost 6.5 million listeners weekly

7digital’s production teams have been in the radio business for years, producing compelling content for a wide variety of channels and across numerous themes. With the release of detailed RAJAR programme audiences, we were thrilled to see that all BBC Radio shows produced by its Unique and Smooth Operations teams have achieved increased reach. With the risk of sounding boastful, we thought it would be nice to share some some of these fine achievements in numbers. 

Recent RAJAR figures for Q2 2015* show that 7digital-produced programmes across BBC Radio 2, Radio 3 and 6 Music now reach a combined total of 6.47 million listeners a week.

Pick of the Pops, presented by Tony Blackburn on BBC Radio 2 and produced by Unique for over 20 years, had its most successful quarter ever. The show achieved both record reach (2.54 million, up 11.2% YoY) and a record share of the listening audience (17.7%, up 11.1% YoY).

Another Unique production for Radio 2, Sounds of the Sixties – presented by veteran broadcaster Brian Matthew – grew in Q2 2015, with reach of 3.83 million (up 5.5% YoY) and a 21.5% share of the market.

The Folk Show with Mark Radcliffe increased its reach by 3.2% YoY to 870,000 a week, with gains in audience share also made. This programme, along with Pick of the Pops and Sounds of the Sixties, contributes to Radio 2’s overall weekly reach of 15.14 million. Radio 2 continues to account for 1 in 3 of all hours listened to BBC Radio.

BBC Radio 3’s Sunday Morning show demonstrated similar success in the latest listener figures. Another Unique production, it attracts 347,000 listeners a week – an increase of 18% year-on-year.

Meanwhile, the weekday show from Radcliffe and Maconie on digital-only station 6 Music has grown to 795,000 listeners a week, with significant uplift (15.8%) from the same period in the previous year. As with Radio 2’s Folk Show, Smooth Operations produces this show and had devised its format.

The RAJAR data also shows that, in the two weeks following the introduction of iPlayer Radio’s download functionality, Pick of the Pops was the most downloaded Radio 2 programme. Although listening to Radio 2 through digital means is marginally down quarter-on-quarter, a third (33.4%) of all listening on that station is now done via a digital device.

“These latest radio listening figures, and the audience growth of the shows our teams produce, highlight the continued importance of human curation expertise in driving music discovery,” said Simon Cole, CEO of 7digital. “Our extensive work in both digital services and production ensure we are perfectly positioned to support innovative radio offerings above and beyond even those from major players in the market. Furthermore, 7digital Group is incredibly proud to be the only independent company to produce a daily daytime show for BBC Radio. The company and its talented staff have been much valued partners of ours for decades – long may it continue”.

About RAJAR data:

*RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research) data covers the period 6th April – 28th June 2015, otherwise denoted as Q2.


About 7digital Group production companies:

Smooth Operations is an award-winning radio and TV production company which delivers quality music programming across every platform, including radio, television and online. In addition, the team specialises in events production and runs the Delphonic record label for folk, roots, blues and acoustic music.

Unique The Production Company has been pioneering independently-produced content for over 25 years and is responsible for some of the UK’s highest profile radio programming and television content.

Alongside Above The Title (a production company specialising in entertainment, drama, comedy, and factual programming), Smooth Operations and Unique joined 7digital Group following its merger with UBC Media in 2014.

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