Music Based Programming Essay

Music based programming is how music is programmed within a show, how they cut from music to talking to adverts and just how they plan a show around the music. Most radio shows use music based programming. There are multiple different ways that music is programmed on different radio stations. I studied the music programming of Radio 1 and Capital FM and compared them.

Radio 1 is the UK’s most listened to radio with 19% of the UK’s population tuning in in last quarterly amount recorded as shown by RAJAR. Radio 1 usually plays A list music and D list as it has a target audience of 15-29 who will prefer A list and D list music because it is contemporary and recent music. The show I listened to was the live lounge hosted by Clara Amfo. The music was programmed accordingly to Radio 1’s target audience as the majority of the songs were A list with a few D list and one song in the Gold category; this is uncommon in Radio 1 programming as the majority of their songs are A list and D list not Gold. BBC Radio 1 mix up which genre of song they play each time to appeal to a wider fan base; they played a pop song followed by an R&B song, this will appeal to two different groups of people, there were many other genres played such as rock and hip hop. They use a mix of music and speech to engage the audience. The cons of BBC Radio 1 are that they only use a few genres which only interests a certain audience, they could get a larger audience if they played many different types of music and were diverse with their music genres.

“The remit of Radio 1 is to entertain and engage a broad range of young listeners with a distinctive mix of contemporary music and speech. It should reflect the lives and interests of 15–29 year olds but also embrace others who share similar tastes”.

Capital FM is a Radio Station dedicated to playing A list music (the current hits) from R&B to pop to hip hop to rock, anything that’s at the top of charts. According to the last quarterly recordings by RAJAR 13% of the UK’s population tuned into Capital FM. The show I listened to was “The Bassman” which was on from 1pm till 4pm. The music was programmed to their target audience which 15-34 years old, they did this by playing mostly R&B and Pop songs with all of them being either A list or D list. The show was music packed with around 80% music 20% talking; this will appeal to the younger members of the target audience because they will have a shorter attention span and would prefer to listen to more music than talking. One of the cons of Capital FM’s music programming is that they play only A list and D list tracks, they could get more people listening if they were more diverse and played C and B list or gold songs.

“It’s no coincidence that 59% of those who tune in to Capital are aged between 15-34 and make up the main target audience for the station.”

Radio 1 and Capital FM both programme their music very similarly. They both play mostly pop and R&B music, they also both play mostly A and D list music. Another similarity between Radio 1 and Capital FM is their target audiences; Radio 1 has a target audience of 15-29 and capital has a target audience of 15-34 according to their websites, these target audiences are similar ages hence both stations playing similar genres of music. Both Clara Amfo from Radio 1 and the Bassman from capital talk similarly in an upbeat voiced they also both seem very excited. Radio 1 has more talking than Capital as capital has almost no talking; the majority of their show is music based. BBC doesn’t have adverts so they don’t have to stop the show for advert breaks whereas capital does, this is because BBC radio 1 and the BBC as a whole is funded by the public and capital has to make money through adverts and other means.

When I listened to BBC Radio 1 and analysed the show I found that they programme their music to suit their target audience as the music played is the preferred music of their 15-29 target audience. I also noticed that BBC radio 1 uses a large amount of music to keep their audience listening. Capital FM had many adverts which I found quite boring and would make me stop listening, I understand they can’t change this as it is for financial reasons but they could spread it out more. Capital has a large amount of music and minimal speech which I enjoyed it made the show easier to listen to after the large amount of adverts. Both show hosts talked like they were someone you knew and mad the show have a very friendly feel this was especially true for Clara Amfo of Radio 1 who had a very upbeat and happy feel throughout the whole of her show. I believe Capital FM and Radio 1 are two very similar radio stations the only difference I see is the amount of talking and the adverts as one is funded by the public and the other is funded by itself.

Content Analysis Radio Show Research

content-analysis-of-a-music-based-radio-show. capital fm