Media on trial - 4Music: Album Chart Show

Programme: 4Music: Album Chart Show

Television channel: Channel 4

Music has enormous mass appeal, that much is obvious. However, the presentation of music has been a substantial challenge for broadcasters in recent years.

No doubt there is great potential for the major channels, as the audience figures produced by events such as Glastonbury and Live 8 prove.

But the charts are a very different animal to what they were five or 10 years ago.

Most singles are bought by kids and teenagers and ITV and Channel 4 transmit their chart shows on slots which are suitable for this market.

Even Top of the Pops has moved from its BBC1 Friday night slot. It now transmits on BBC2, in a Saturday morning line-up of kids' programming, and at 7pm on Sundays.

Clearly, care needs to be taken with format, audience and timing for any new music programme.

Therefore C4's brave new offering, 4Music: Album Chart Show, is a welcome addition for music-lovers who don't need to be in bed by 9pm.

The format is based on live performances at Camden's KoKo Club with each act introduced by Joe Mace - an odd choice given his previous life as a kids' TV presenter, and this show is aimed at an older audience.

The bands featured in the first two shows, Sugababes, Delays, Editors, The Like and Graham Coxon, have genuine appeal for those whose musical taste extends beyond the various reincarnations of Busted and the live performances gave the coverage natural energy, pace and interest.

If the programme maintains this quality of line-up, it should do well with the 18 to 30 age group. Going out at 2pm on Saturday on E4 and then later on C4 at 12.25am reflects this ambition.

I wish C4 well with this venture. The quality of the programme and the profile of its audience should give it wide advertiser appeal, from cosmetics to cars and music to muesli.

- Review by Chris Hayward, head of broadcast at ZenithOptimedia.

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