UK

Shove off, Shostakovich! Radio 3 targets the yoga set in bid to attract younger breed of listeners 

Shove off, Shostakovich! Radio 3 targets the yoga set in bid to attract younger breed of listeners

  • Radio 3 to launch ‘meditation’ show for under-35s to attract younger audience
  • The idea will launch in 2022 and aimed at those interested in mindfulness
  • Will be broadcast on Radio 3 and be available BBC Sounds streaming service

It has long been keen to slip in programmes devoted to jazz or world music – and even a blast of pop – amid the Sibelius and Shostakovich.

But now Radio 3 is going further to attract a new, younger breed of listener.

BBC bosses plan a ‘breakthrough meditation’ show for the under-35s ‘enhanced by an immersive, therapeutic classical soundtrack’.

It will air early next year and is aimed at those, particularly women, with interests in mindfulness and yoga, according to a commissioning brief. 

Radio 3 is going further to attract a new, younger breed of listener. BBC bosses plan a ‘breakthrough meditation’ show for the under-35s ‘enhanced by an immersive, therapeutic classical soundtrack’ (stock image)

Target listeners will be ‘looking for inspiring and thought-provoking content’ and ‘stories that broaden their horizons and satisfy their curious minds’.

The meditation podcast will be broadcast on Radio 3 and then be available on the BBC Sounds streaming service.

Radio 3’s attempt to draw a younger audience has already come under fire from some listeners – after the station played songs by pop star Justin Bieber and rapper Kanye West in singer Jorja Smith’s Tearjerker series, broadcast on Saturday mornings between January and March.

Some of the music choices were ‘frankly bizarre’ and risked ‘losing loyal listeners’, they complained.

The meditation programme’s target audience ‘are predominantly (but not exclusively) young women looking for inspiring and thought-provoking content which focuses on everyday, relatable and current themes and stories that broaden their horizons and satisfy their curious minds’.

The document adds: ‘So instead of the expected sounds we’ve become accustomed to with meditation, our aim is to introduce audiences to new experiences combining speech with evocative and compelling instrumental music.’

The BBC wants hopes it will be fronted by ‘surprising, engaging and relatable talent’.

It said when it came to the presenters that ‘diversity is also essential’ saying it needed talent to ‘demonstrate the broad young audience that music and meditation can appeal to’.

It will air early next year and is aimed at those, particularly women, with interests in mindfulness and yoga, according to a commissioning brief (stock image)

It will air early next year and is aimed at those, particularly women, with interests in mindfulness and yoga, according to a commissioning brief (stock image)

It points out that since the Covid-19 pandemic struck in the UK there have been some of the lowest records of life satisfaction and happiness, ‘particularly amongst younger adults’.

The BBC said one of its strategies and objectives was to commission ‘stimulating, hyper-relevant, habit driving content built around mood management and young audience needs’.

Earlier this year there was controversy around Radio 3’s Tearjerker series, which plays a variety of music styles, after it aired the song Lonely by Canadian pop star Justin Bieber.

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