BBC Radio 6 Music wins the biggest Sony Award of the night
Radio was the winner last night as digital radio station BBC Radio 6 Music won the Sony Award for UK Station of the Year.
Click here to see a full list of winners.
It marks a landmark moment for digital radio and is the first time in the 30-year history of the Sony Radio Academy Awards that a digital-only station has won UK Station of the Year - the biggest radio prize of the year - winning against the other nominated stations BBC Radio 2 and Kerrang! Radio.
Paul Rodgers, Head of Programmes, BBC Radio 6 Music, said: "I am delighted that BBC 6 Music has been named UK Station of the Year at the Sony Radio Academy Awards. This is a massive vote of confidence and reinforces the great belief that listeners have in our station."
In all 19 nominations went to digital-only stations, of which 10 went to BBC Radio 6 Music. This reflects the quality and innovation of digital stations and highlights the increasing impact of digital radio on the industry and listeners - it now accounts for almost 30% of listening.
Only two years ago the future of BBC Radio 6 Music was in doubt, after a BBC management proposal to close the service. At the Sony Awards ceremony in 2010, BBC Radio 6 Music presenter and Pulp front man Jarvis Cocker expressed his displeasure at the proposal and asked for listener and industry support to keep BBC Radio 6 Music on air. Following a highly vocal and visible listener campaign and consultation, the BBC Trust decided to maintain the service. Since that time the station has gone from strength to strength and its audience has more than doubled to 1.4 million.
Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, said: "this is truly a landmark moment for digital radio and a huge recognition of the quality and innovation offered by digital-only radio stations. We know that listeners to digital radio absolutely love the additional choice of stations and couldn't live without them."
Digital radio listening is growing at 15% per annum and now represents 29.1% of all radio listening. Listening to digital-only stations has doubled in recent years as the number of digital stations has increased and coverage has been extended. Most parts of the country can receive over 20 digital-only stations including 6 Music and the BBC digital stations, as well as a wide range of commercial digital stations including Absolute Radio 80s, Absolute Radio 90s, Smooth 70s, Planet Rock and Jazz FM.
Adrian Northover-Smith, Sony's Head of Corporate Public Affairs says: "The Sony Radio Academy Awards are the UK's most prestigious awards for radio excellence and it is fitting at this time of accelerating digital growth that 6 Music has been recognised as the UK Station of the Year."