RAJAR Q2 2010 – Comment

At a time when iPods, iPhones, and iPads seem to be taking over the world this quarter’s RAJAR results have been great for Radio as almost 91% of the entire population are tuning in every week! And this growth has mainly been boosted by the Commercial Radio sector as stations grow their audience. Talking of the BBC, Chris Evans has carelessly managed to lose a million listeners from his Radio 2 Breakfast show but as he still reaches more people than Sir Terry Wogan did (8.48 million people) it probably won’t bother him too much. Heart in London has seemingly come from nowhere to grab the number one spot but it is the performance of Kiss 100 that has really caught my eye. The Kiss breakfast show with Rickie, Melvin and Charlie have done amazingly well to take over 900,000 listeners and the station as a whole is undisputedly the best way to target 15 – 44 year olds in London. The digital station Heat, based on the magazine also owned by Bauer Media, have had a great result this quarter, up 50% on last year. According to them it’s down to the investment they have put into programming and content being cautious I’d prefer to wait and see if this growth is sustained into next quarter as well. Finally, mention should go to Absolute Radio who have managed to deliver a quarter on quarter increase of 13.7% and now reach over 2 million listeners across the whole network, well done Absolute we knew you could do it!

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RAJAR Q2 2010

Who said radio was dead? Commercial Radio has hit a 10 year high, reaching 32.8 million people every week and almost 91% of the population tune into radio on a weekly basis

In the London marketplace Heart 106.2 and Magic 105.4 have battled it out for the top spot. Heart have achieved the highest reach (2,185,000) whilst Magic have delivered a higher share of the hours with 6.4%, so watch out for those conflicting stories on who is number one. Magic have won the race for share of hours by a long way as their closest rival is fellow Bauer station Kiss 100 on 5.6%. Heart are in third position with 5.1% share, whilst strong hours and improved reach for LBC have helped the station to achieve 5% share. Capitalhave had a drop in terms of hours, down from 12.6 million to 10.6 million and seen their share drop from 6% to 4.9% but they have seen a slight increase in reach.Commercial Radio as a whole will be very happy with this quarter’s set of figures as they see the fourth successive quarter on quarter growth. On a local level commercial radio delivers 26.7 million listeners compared to just 9.1 million for the BBC’s local and regional services. And, commercial radio has also taken listeners from the BBC across the board as the share of listening split now stands at 43.2% for commercial radio verses 54.6% for the BBC.

Capital FM Returning to the London marketplace and the much talked about ‘battle of the breakfast shows’ has been won again by Johnny and Lisa on 95.8 Capital FM.

The duo managed to bring in over 1.1 million listeners to their 6-10am breakfast show. As with the improved listening figures across the whole station Jamie and Harriet on Heart (6-9am) have seen a healthy increase in numbers and now reach 925,000 people (up from 798,000 last quarter). Rickie, Melvin and Charlie on Kiss 100 (6-9am) have also had a great set of results as their reach of 903,000 pushes them into third position. Good results were also seen over at Magic as Neil Fox (5.30-9am) also improved his figures to 841,000. Whilst Nick Ferrari over at LBC(7-10am) dropped off on his last quarter results delivering 576,000.

Briefly looking around the regions . . . in North East Scotland, Northsound One reached 115,000 adults (37% of all available adults in their TSA Total Survey Area). In Wigan the micro station Wish FM delivered 87,000 listeners (19%). Broadcasting across Yorkshire the regional station Galaxy Radio pulled in 1,072,000 (24%) and in Birmingham BRMBachieved 364,000 listeners (18%).

Nation Radio Focusing on Wales, Nation Radio (formerly XFM) has performed well increasing its reach to a total of 109,000 listeners, a 19% increase quarter on quarter.

This quarter has not been as good for Red Dragon in Cardiff as the station dropped in reach, now delivering 290,000 adults down from 306,000. (Will Global now decide to rebrand it as Heart?!) Wave 96.4 and Swansea Sound have also fallen away a little bit in the last quarter, now reaching a combined 177,000 (39%).  However, there were good results at Radio Carmarthenshire which achieved an increase in reach to now deliver 39,000 listeners (31%). Real Radio, which currently covers the whole of South Wales, improved on their performance a little with listener numbers up year on year to 407,000 (23%).

Classic FM remains the most listened to (single) commercial radio station in the UK with a reach of 5.6 million adults, showing a quarter on quarter increase of 3.1%. Listening figures for talkSPORT have also improved, up 5.9% quarter on quarter, now delivering a reach of 2,507,000 across the UK. (Note: these figures are recorded up to the end of June so do include some of the World Cup listening). Absolute Radio have also seen their best set of figures for a long time and are up 13.7% quarter on quarter to a reach of 1,587,000 adults 15+ across the UK. Staying with Absolute, the addition of Absolute 80s and improved results from Absolute Classic Rock have now taken the Absolute Radio Network to over 2 million listeners.

KCFM Digital listening has grown slightly to account for a 24.6% share of all radio listening, with 38.7% of people claiming to listen to digital radio, either through DAB, DTV, the internet or ‘other’ (e.g. smartphone applications).

The latest RAJAR figures recorded 35.3% of adults claiming to live in a household which has a DAB receiver, up from 33% last year. A figure that will no doubt be boosted again by the recent Radio Amnesty campaign run by Digital Radio UK which helped increase Digital Radio sales by 17% across June 2010. Bauer’s digital stations continue to remain strong in the digital only UK market. The Hits achieves over 1.1 million listeners and Smash Hits Radio 990,000 listeners, making them the two most listened to commercial digital only stations. The independently owned, Sony Digital Radio Station of the Year, Planet Rock takes third position achieving quarter on quarter growth of 3.5% and now reaching 718,000 listeners.

The UK’s largest commercial radio group is Global Radio (19.4 million listeners), the owners of the Heart Network of stations which delivers 7.7 million listeners across the UK. Bauer Radio is the second largest commercial group, with 12.9 million reach, GMG Radio reach just short of 4.9 million people and UTV Radio, including talkSPORT, delivers almost 3.6 million reach.

Colourful Radio This will also be the first RAJAR for a couple of new stationss . . the digital only station, Colourful Radio, is reporting on RAJAR for the very first time and has managed a reach of 10,000 adults.

Kestrel FM (North and South), will now be able to report across a new larger region. Since Delta FM was renamed to Kestrel FM it has been possible to buy onto Kestrel in Basingstoke and in North Hampshire. This new listing shows the combined reach of 48,000 (21%) across the two. It looks like we are going to have to wait until quarter three to see how well Absolute Radio 90s has performed though.

Sunrise Radio, which broadcasts in London on analogue and across the UK via digital (online and DAB) has shown a quarter on quarter increase of 12% to achieve a reach of 498,000. Panjab Radio delivered 155,000 listeners, however as the station has recently come off the national DAB multiplex these figures are unlikely to be sustained.

Finally, listening to the radio via a mobile phone should also be mentioned as 12.5% of adults and almost 30% of 15-24s claim to listen in this way. Many radio stations are now providing smartphone apps to enhance the mobile phone listening experience and a recent RAJAR study has found that 20% of all Smartphone owners have a radio app. While podcasts are also proving very popular Absolute Radio alone had 3 million podcasts downloaded in June, helped in no small part by the Baddiel and Skinner World Cup podcast.

That’s it from me for now. If you have any questions on RAJAR or if you would like any further information please feel free to contact your RadioWorks representative or alternatively email Simon@RadioWorks.co.uk
SOURCE: RAJAR Q2 2010