Does Radio 1 play too much music?
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I know this sounds like a mad question considering that Radio 1 is a radio station that prides itself on new music, but does anyone else think that the station is playing too much music?

Since the start of the year, we have seen a daily Nixtape between 9:30am-10:05am/10:10am, Throwback Thursday between 8:30am-9am - thus removing a total of 1 hour of content time on Thursdays, plus the dropping of the 'Going Home Song' on Greg's show in favour of an extra one or two tracks.

This comes on top of the withdrawal of Innuendo Bingo and Real or No Real on Scott's show (although I think Bingo needed to be dropped for a bit - RoNR has clearly been dropped to allow for more music), as well as doing away with the 5pm news update in November.

It would be interesting to hear other people's thoughts/views on this!

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Simple answer - yes. Not sure if its to do with their music quota but I think it all went downhill a few years ago when they starting cutting more tracks down and fitting more in, which has now stripped the djs from any personality, which is a shame. I’d say 2012/2013 was when R1 got the amount of music they played just right.

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I'm so glad this thread exists.

Yes yes a thousand times yes. At times it's like they're trying to out-Capital Capital. You can't out-Capital Capital, it's the best at what it does around. Radio 1 shouldn't WANT to out-Capital Capital, it has its own distinctive and high quality offering. I think now more than in 2012 actually, Radio 1 is a bit lost for what it actually wants to be. 

But back the original question - far too much music. As a rule of thumb, I'd say 8-10 full length songs per hour on the breakfast show, and 10-12 full length songs per hour for the rest of daytime is perfect. At the moment I reckon (I haven't counted properly but based on listening) it's 14-16 songs per hour across the whole day, including the short versions. But whatever it is, it's TOO MUCH. Weirdly, I think (although again I haven't got well researched stats to back this up, just my own ears) the breakfast show now plays more  music than it did at the start,  when they made a big thing about "now with added music"! 

I'm not asking for a return to Moyles-esque 30 minute links but there's no harm in a 5, 7 or even 10 minute links every now again. Give the DJs the time to do their thing without worrying about fulfilling the music quota, give them time to do funny features and even to drop songs if something funny and spontaneous happens that shouldn't be cut short.

I can't believe I've become *that* person, but I maaaaaay have sent a complaint in to the BBC using the online feedback form on this very subject. I'd encourage you to do the same if, like me, you apparently have no life. What have I become.

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14 hours ago, LSR1 said:

Simple answer - yes. Not sure if its to do with their music quota but I think it all went downhill a few years ago when they starting cutting more tracks down and fitting more in, which has now stripped the djs from any personality, which is a shame. I’d say 2012/2013 was when R1 got the amount of music they played just right.

I think it does have something to do with the music quota, and I just don't understand why such a thing was imposed in the first place. R1 was playing enough songs per hour that was needed - they didn't have to go down the road of cutting songs to fit more in, like you said. It just sounds silly and is really unnecessary. I had hoped 2018 would see just a little less music, but I seems I have had my hopes dashed.

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5 hours ago, OohErr said:

I'm so glad this thread exists.

Yes yes a thousand times yes. At times it's like they're trying to out-Capital Capital. You can't out-Capital Capital, it's the best at what it does around. Radio 1 shouldn't WANT to out-Capital Capital, it has its own distinctive and high quality offering. I think now more than in 2012 actually, Radio 1 is a bit lost for what it actually wants to be. 

But back the original question - far too much music. As a rule of thumb, I'd say 8-10 full length songs per hour on the breakfast show, and 10-12 full length songs per hour for the rest of daytime is perfect. At the moment I reckon (I haven't counted properly but based on listening) it's 14-16 songs per hour across the whole day, including the short versions. But whatever it is, it's TOO MUCH. Weirdly, I think (although again I haven't got well researched stats to back this up, just my own ears) the breakfast show now plays more  music than it did at the start,  when they made a big thing about "now with added music"! 

I'm not asking for a return to Moyles-esque 30 minute links but there's no harm in a 5, 7 or even 10 minute links every now again. Give the DJs the time to do their thing without worrying about fulfilling the music quota, give them time to do funny features and even to drop songs if something funny and spontaneous happens that shouldn't be cut short.

I can't believe I've become *that* person, but I maaaaaay have sent a complaint in to the BBC using the online feedback form on this very subject. I'd encourage you to do the same if, like me, you apparently have no life. What have I become.

Thank you!

I'll repeat what you said when I say a thousand times yes! I have been listening to R1 for coming up to seven years now, and vaguely remember seeing figures from 2012/2013 on the amount of songs played in each show. As was to be expected, Moyles had played considerably less than the others with between 15-19 songs per show, Fearne was between 32-36 (sometimes higher, despite being the shortest show), and Scott and Greg were between 29-38, depending on their content. To me, that sounded absolutely fine and like it has been said, the balance was right.

Now, it's just ridiculous. I'd say, and this is also just with my untrained ear, that the breakfast show easily hits 50 songs most days. Clara wouldn't be too far behind that, I don't think. Scott will be low to mid 40s and Greg would be low 40s too. There is FAR TOO MUCH music and it's putting me off. There are too many mixes - restrict it to Throwback Thursday on the breakfast show, the Nixtape and perhaps the final 15 minutes on Scott's show on a Friday only. The summer mixes should also be restricted to one day only. Also, there is far too much emphasis on Greatest Hits. Yes, it was a fantastic idea when R1 hit 50 years old, but we're looking at 8.5 hours of air time right now still dedicated to them. Cut it down to an hour of a show and it'll sound better, rather than repetitive and recycled as it does currently.

I love Radio 1, but like you suggested, it's beginning to sound like a commercial radio station sometimes. The DJs on my local radio station (a Bauer operated station) have no personalities at all, play too much music (and rubbish music too!), have links that are just meaningless and say the network slogan ('All the biggest hits, all day long!) during every link. R1 DJ's aren't saying 'Where it begins!' during every link, but increasingly, they are ticking the boxes of the other things I mentioned and it's really sad.

I never thought I'd say this at the age of 21, but I am beginning to feel old for Radio 1. I am frequently saying to myself 'this all sounds the same' and 'wasn't this played five minutes ago?' in terms of the music played. The music that is being produced can't be helped by R1, but they can at least ensure there is a good spread of genres and tastes. I mean, is there really need for Ed Sheeran to be potentially featuring up to three times every show? Rita Ora was the same when 'Anywhere' was on the playlist at the same time as her feature with Avicii was knocking around. Some artists get WAY more exposure than others. Some just get one play and then are forgotten about.

Putting in a complaint doesn't sound like a bad idea! It may force the BBC to look at how they are currently delivering radio output and how it could be changed - looking at this forum would be a good start! - because I genuinely don't think bosses at R1 are realising they're doing more harm that good. Oh god, I sound like such a anorak. 

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4 hours ago, Jordan12 said:

Putting in a complaint doesn't sound like a bad idea! It may force the BBC to look at how they are currently delivering radio output and how it could be changed - looking at this forum would be a good start! - because I genuinely don't think bosses at R1 are realising they're doing more harm that good. Oh god, I sound like such a anorak. 

Ah yes, the old adage that if only radio bosses read anorak forums the output would be so much better. If only that were true, but alas, normal radio listeners aren't like us. Which is a terrible shame. I'd love it if they did listen to these forums, but I'm not so sure figures would be any better.

Either way, the figures aren't great now either so what've they got to lose by giving it a go. 

It's interesting you mention 2012, because I think 2012 (or at least the first three months) was the last time Radio 1 was what I would have described as close to perfection. The end of the 'wake up with Moyles, get home with Mills' era, the era of just the right amount of music and chat, guests that were interesting and not too repetitive, instead of Keith Lemon, Danny Dyer and Rita Ora on the breakfast show once a month.

EDIT: although actually, so as not to be too negative, I should probably mention: the imaging is the best it's been since the 1tros were phased out, the weekend lineup is far better than in 2012, and Jordan North is pretty much the only promising new talent they've had in the time I've been listening. So it's not all bad. Could just do with a few tweaks here and there.

Edited by OohErr

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10 minutes ago, OohErr said:

I should probably mention: the imaging is the best it's been since the 1tros were phased out

Except the bloody Chart theme! When will they bring that in line with the rest of the great new imaging (I like the theme itself it's just the voice overs are AWFUL!!!!, If station sound are reading this and they're too busy to update them I'll quite happy swap the voices to the new ones for you), and while we're on Imaging, the branded intro's are great and are on par if not better than the 1tros of yester-year,  but they are way overused and of course they've got a great package of Top of Hour Idents from Wisebuddah that only ever get used at 4AM on Adele Roberts show, and occasionally on Scotts show.  I'd like to see those used more hand in hand with the branded intros.

Anyway that was slightly off topic, I totally agree, there is too much music at the moment, although I haven't heard many of the short edits of songs played recently, I think that was mainly a New Music Friday thing that creeped on to weekends (can we WHOOOO that yet?). For example, before the A list songs used to be roughly every other show on a rotation, now I'm pretty sure every show is playing the same tracks off the A list (I've heard Tiptoe and 17 so many times this week during the day time output - not that I'm dissing those tracks as I do like them but it's a bit much).

Greatest Hits, yes they're great (hence the name), but as others have said there is too much of it, which brings me onto my next point, personalities and content. Because of how much time Greatest Hits currently takes up Matt doesn't really get a chance to get his personality out as much any more, be it his random features or just general chat. Also take a look at Scotts podcasts, they're down from around an hour or more to as low as 20 mins sometimes. When Scott is halfway through a feature or game and says "Can you wait there for a few mins we'll be back after this" NO JUST FINISH THE BLOODY FEATURE!! There is just too much music being played at the moment.

Jordan is great and he does deserve a permanent slot, be it early breakfast or a weekend slot, before he goes elsewhere like Pete did. I'm also liking Katie at the moment, I think she's settling in to Radio 1 quite well, Cel I'm not sure on, He's been doing this for about 2 and a half years now and his shows still sound like car crashes on some of the links (no offence intended there Cel).

The way they're going I'm just waiting for the day Newsbeat starts and they say "From globals news room...":D

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1 hour ago, OohErr said:

Ah yes, the old adage that if only radio bosses read anorak forums the output would be so much better. If only that were true, but alas, normal radio listeners aren't like us. Which is a terrible shame. I'd love it if they did listen to these forums, but I'm not so sure figures would be any better.

Either way, the figures aren't great now either so what've they got to lose by giving it a go. 

It's interesting you mention 2012, because I think 2012 (or at least the first three months) was the last time Radio 1 was what I would have described as close to perfection. The end of the 'wake up with Moyles, get home with Mills' era, the era of just the right amount of music and chat, guests that were interesting and not too repetitive, instead of Keith Lemon, Danny Dyer and Rita Ora on the breakfast show once a month.

EDIT: although actually, so as not to be too negative, I should probably mention: the imaging is the best it's been since the 1tros were phased out, the weekend lineup is far better than in 2012, and Jordan North is pretty much the only promising new talent they've had in the time I've been listening. So it's not all bad. Could just do with a few tweaks here and there.

Precisely! The RAJAR's for Q4 are released in just under a month (8th February), and I think it's a safe to say which way they'll swing for R1. Maybe management will make some changes that will hopefully boost figures, but I'm not holding my breath.

2012 is the earliest memory of Radio 1 that I have, and I definitely remember Moyles playing less than 20 tracks per show - sometimes it was just above 10! But I definitely agree with you. I know things have to move with the times, but I haven't been in favour with things that have been implemented over the last year. I'd definitely bring back Real or No Real, if I had my way. You were always guaranteed a laugh - especially when Greg or Charlie Sloth was on and it bumped up the length of the podcast by about 10 minutes.

The gripes I have with the station aren't so much about the DJs, more the music policy and the decrease of content and worthwhile links. Although, as I've said before, Jordan North is 2017/2018s Pete Allison. Radio 1 will kick themselves if they don't offer him a permanent show soon and so he ends up being snapped up somewhere else.

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I agree with all of this said above. I’m actually pretty happy with the state of Radio 1 at the moment in terms of DJs and the schedule but what’ve they really need to sort out the songs played. 

I really don’t think Matt needs the Greatest Hits show and I wonder whether his new producer wanted to put that in, as that started as soon as his new producer came - it makes his show very devoid of personalities and features. 

I just wanted to answer a couple of people’s points about the amount of music played - Adele plays around 38-40 tracks, Nick plays around 45 tracks, Clara plays around 40-43, Scott plays around 40-43 tracks and Greg plays about 35 tracks - so looking at it that way, Scotts show and Nicks shows have been increased the most, with Greg’s being the least seemingly not being increased at all.

I am also sad so have also made a complaint to the BBC today.  

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Some podcast stats

I did some research and some maths to try and work out definitively whether the Scott Mills Daily podcasts ARE getting shorter, and here's what I've found:

  • The average podcast length for all of 2013 was 39.9 minutes
  • The average podcast for all of 2017 was 36.0 minutes.

So whilst it's correct that over the years the podcasts have got shorter, its not by as much as I thought - just under four minutes on average. However, when you break it down a bit more across the year:

  • 37.1 minutes for January-June 2013
  • 38.4 minutes for January-June 2017
  • 41.9 minutes for July-December 2013
  • 33.5 minutes for July-December 2017

So its about the same for the first half of the year, but in 2013 the podcasts got approximately 4.8 minutes longer in the second half of the year, but 4.9 minutes shorter in the second half of 2017. And if you look at the last three months, where the change was particularly noticeable:

  • 43.8 minutes for October-December 2013 
  • 32.5 minutes for October-December 2013

So that makes the podcasts for the last three months of 2017 3.5 minutes shorter than the 2017 average, 7.4 minutes shorter than the 2013 average and a whopping 11.3 minutes shorter than for the last three months of 2013. 

The reason I compared it to 2013 was because it was the first full year of Scott doing the 1-4 show, which was 15 minutes longer than the drivetime show and by its nature would probably contain more music than before.

TL;DR Yes the podcasts have got shorter, not by a great deal on the face of it, but the decline has accelerated over the last three to six months, which is masked by the whole year average.  

Edited by OohErr

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6 hours ago, Dan18F1 said:

I really don’t think Matt needs the Greatest Hits show and I wonder whether his new producer wanted to put that in, as that started as soon as his new producer came - it makes his show very devoid of personalities and features. 

I highly doubt the decision for Greatest Hits remaining a permanent show would have been decided by a show producer - I would imagine that would have gone via the Head of Programmes, one Aled Haydn Jones.

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9 hours ago, Ant L said:

I highly doubt the decision for Greatest Hits remaining a permanent show would have been decided by a show producer - I would imagine that would have gone via the Head of Programmes, one Aled Haydn Jones.

Yeah, I get that. But maybe his new producer wanted them so went to Aled or someone else high up to ask? 

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Hey, @Jono, here's an idea: would it be possible to get Mark Lockett to join up on here and answer our questions every now and again like Aled used to do on that other website that's a bit whooo? 

From what I remember, even if they didn't agree with or act on the feedback they got, Aled really valued hearing what the diehard fans thought and he was good at explaining decisions they didn't like as well.

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Clara now does a Friday mix as well, at 12:30-45. Not so many complaints about this one cause it's a music focused show anyway, but they do seem a bit obsessed with mixes and it makes me wonder whether they're really that popular they do them all the time.

On a slightly unrelated note, I've heard Clara's show a few times recently and it has improved since I last listened before I made the switch to JO'B. Generally more professional sounding, and there are a couple of features as well. Not the most original features in the world (special song + associated memory and mystery voice) but nice little benchmarks nonetheless.

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2 hours ago, OohErr said:

Clara now does a Friday mix as well, at 12:30-45. Not so many complaints about this one cause it's a music focused show anyway, but they do seem a bit obsessed with mixes and it makes me wonder whether they're really that popular they do them all the time.

It is just like the summer mix period but every single day now, they are no longer a one of thing like summer mixes, nixtape or dance anthems, it's just a way to squeeze more music in and they are really quite boring.

If we wanted to hear non-stop music we would just listen to Capital, the reason R1 is so good is because of how the presenters have real personalities and make their shows there own.

Edited by THIS IS THE BBC

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Haven't heard Greg's show for a while until today - unless today was just a one off, he now plays FIVE songs before his opening link. Two in a row, a ramp, a crunch and roll, a trail, a song and THEN the first proper link at about 16:18. That's ridiculous. 

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They didn't play the full half an hour though, did they? Just a couple of songs. Still the last half an hour of the show is a massive waste of time, Real or no Real was so good - still can't believe they ditched it. 
 

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On 5/1/2018 at 4:20 PM, OohErr said:

Haven't heard Greg's show for a while until today - unless today was just a one off, he now plays FIVE songs before his opening link. Two in a row, a ramp, a crunch and roll, a trail, a song and THEN the first proper link at about 16:18. That's ridiculous. 

There's also only 2 callers on What's My Age Again now with a boring guess the age of a celeb in the event of a tie :(

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On 01/05/2018 at 4:20 PM, OohErr said:

Haven't heard Greg's show for a while until today - unless today was just a one off, he now plays FIVE songs before his opening link. Two in a row, a ramp, a crunch and roll, a trail, a song and THEN the first proper link at about 16:18. That's ridiculous. 

One week on and this still appears to be the case. Scott does 2, a wee 'Hiya', then 2 then his first proper link around 1:15pm (depending on lengths of songs) so I don't think it's too much to worry about.

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Weekend Breakfast with Dev and Alice has potential to be a really good show but there's just too much music. 60 songs so 15 an hour doesn't leave them much time to talk - it's a waste of them both being there if they don't have time to talk. Get rid of a few songs each hour so the links and features can be extended and you'd end up with a decent, podcastable, breakfast show.

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Also, why did they change The Greatest Hits format? Now it's just an hour of 'old' hits and then they just play all the usual, everyday songs.

It's a bit pointless, because the show is still directed towards playing loads of music, not many talking bits. When Matt first started the Greatest Hits Show it used to last an hour, but it was at the end of the proper show so it sort of made sense. Either come back to this format - normal show and then an hour of hits, or stay with the 3 hour long Greatest Hits Show.  

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15 hours ago, Tea20 said:

Weekend Breakfast with Dev and Alice has potential to be a really good show but there's just too much music. 60 songs so 15 an hour doesn't leave them much time to talk - it's a waste of them both being there if they don't have time to talk. Get rid of a few songs each hour so the links and features can be extended and you'd end up with a decent, podcastable, breakfast show.

Very true - especially considering there's two of them, so they could really do with the breathing space of longer links. I wasn't sure whether or not I'd like Dev and Alice together, but they're good.

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