BBC Radio 6 Music (also known as BBC 6 Music or 6 Music) is a British digital radio station owned and operated by the BBC, specialising primarily in alternative music. BBC 6 Music was the first national music radio station to be launched by the BBC in 32 years. It is available only on digital media: DAB radio, the Internet, digital television, and throughout northern and western Europe through the Astra 2B satellite.
BBC 6 Music has been described as a “dedicated alternative music station”. Many presenters have argued against the perception that the main focus is indie guitar music. The station itself describes its output as “the cutting edge music of today, the iconic and groundbreaking music of the past 40 years and unlimited access to the BBC’s wonderful music archive”. Since 2014, an annual music festival, 6 Music Festival, has been held in different cities around the United Kingdom and broadcast live on the station.
In July 2010, the BBC Trust announced it had rejected a proposal by the BBC to close 6 Music to provide commercial rivals more room. The trust commented that the station was “well-liked by its listeners, was highly distinctive and made an important contribution”. In 2018, 6 Music was the most listened-to digital-only radio station, with an average weekly audience of 2.53 million.