U.K. modern rock and alternative station BBC 6 Music has continued to grow its audience despite a tough few months for those working on the network. It is now hitting a weekly audience of 1.19 million listeners.

The digital station was under threat of closure, until the BBC Trust stepped in a month ago and rejected the management proposal. It followed a public consultation and a determined campaign, supported by the music industry and artists including Radiohead, Coldplay and La Roux, to keep the publicly funded BBC station, which is seen as a key outlet for new artists.

The new RAJAR figures for Q2 show 6 Music increased its audience from the 1.02 million it recorded in Q1 2010. That Q1 result was a doubling of the station's audience compared to the prior quarter, during a period of considerable media coverage of the closure plan and the campaign.

But the latest audience figures suggest that the station will continue to benefit from the attention surrounding it this year. Before the closure plan, many people had never heard of it, as a BBC Trust survey showed.

BBC digital station 1Xtra did not perform so well - the urban music station's audience fell by almost 10% to 600,000 in Q2 - but commercial digital networks available on DAB radio did post audience increases.

Planet Rock's audience reach for Q2 was 718,000, up from 694,000 in the previous quarter and up from 709,000 a year earlier. NME Radio's Q2 2010 audience was 253,000, which was up on the prior quarter and Q2 2009. But top 40 station Smash Hits Radio's 990,000 was down on the previous year, though the digital station did increase its audience from the prior quarter.

The figures for DAB are inching up, but the government will only consider digital switchover once 50% of all radio listening is via digital platforms.

RAJAR said the DAB listening share in Q2 2010 was 15.8% compared to 15.1% in the prior quarter and 13.1% a year ago. But the share of total listening on other digital platforms was flat compared to the prior quarter: digital TV accounted for 4.1% and Internet listening was 2.9%.

DAB set ownership has increased by 7.6% year on year, according to RAJAR, with over one third of the population - 18.2 million adults (aged 15+) - now claiming to live in a household which has a DAB receiver.

On the major FM networks, national top 40 station BBC Radio 1 posted a record reach of 11.81 million listeners a week. AC network Radio 2 recorded its second highest ever weekly reach of 13.73 million - up from 13.42 million last year but down from 14.57 million last quarter.

The Chris Evans Breakfast Show lost more than 1 million listeners to record an audience of 8.48 million. But Evans, who took over from long-running host Terry Wogan at the beginning of 2010, is still scoring higher numbers than his predecessor.

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