RAJAR Q4 2011

Another Good Quarter for Digital Listening!

This Quarter saw an increase in Digital Listening with 300 million listening hours and 23.1 million people tuning into the radio via a digital platform  

RAJAR, the radio audience survey shows 46.7 million adults (15+) in the UK listen to the radio every week. Commercial Radio reaches 32.8 million listeners and achieves a listener share of 42.4% versus the BBC’s 55.5%. On a local level commercial radio completely dominates the BBC delivering 26.2 million listeners compared to the BBC’s 9.6 million for local and regional services.

In the London marketplace Capital London has held on to the number one spot with a 14.9% year on year increase taking them to a reach of 2,254,000 listeners. An improved result from Magic 105.4 sees them go above the two million mark to 2,167,000.  In terms of listening share Capital London and Magic also hold the top two positions with 5.9% and 5.7%. In terms of reach Heart 106.2 take the third position with 1.9 million listeners per week but poor listening hours has seen the drop to fifth place in terms of share with only 4.6%. Improved quarter-on-quarter results from Kiss see them jump into fourth place in terms of reach 1,874,000 and strong hours places them just behind Magic in terms of share (5.4%). LBC also had a strong quarter with reach up 15% to 967,000 and share up to 5.1%. The national station Classic FM also reports London only figures and delivered over 1.2 million listeners with a share of 3.9%.

The much talked about ‘battle of the breakfast shows’ has been won again by the now departed Johnny Vaughan and Lisa on Capital Radio London with 1.3 million listeners to their show from 6-10. Johnny left the station at the end of last year and has been replaced by former XFM and Capital weekend DJ Dave Berry. Also known for presenting shows on MTV, Berry has been presenting the Capital Breakfast show with Lisa Snowdon since the beginning of the year – the next quarter’s RAJAR results will show us how he’s performed in his first term at the helm of London’s largest Commercial Radio Breakfast show. Neil Fox’s Magic Breakfast Show (5-9am) increased its listeners to take second place with 848,000. Kiss 100’s Rickie, Melvin & Charlie (6-9am) managed to add 138,000 listeners to their previous total to take them to third most listened to breakfast show in London with 838,000 weekly listeners. Whilst Jamie and Harriet on Heart London (6-9am) dropped into fourth position with 814,000 listeners.

Briefly looking around the regions; in the Isle of Man, Manx Radio reached 69,000 adults (58% of all available adults in their TSA – Total Survey Area). The newly renamed Manchester station 106.1 Real XS (was 106.1 Rock Radio) has delivered 131,000 reach (6%) in their first set of results. In Wakefield the micro station Ridings FM delivered 44,000 listeners (15%). Broadcasting in Edinburgh, Forth 1 FM, which is a part of the new Bauer Place Portfolio, pulled in 341,000 (31%), and in Morecambe, The Bay achieved 108,000 listeners (38%).

Classic FM remains the most listened to (single) commercial radio station in the UK, despite a poor quarter, with a reach of 5.3 million adults. Keeping a focus on the national analogue stations – talkSPORT improved their reach by a further 2% quarter-on-quarter to just under 3.2 million listeners whilst Absolute Radio stayed around the 1.6 million mark. The Total Absolute Radio Network, which includes Absolute Classic Rock and the 80s, 90s, and 00s stations have remained at 2.8 million listeners and will hope to add to this with the first set of results from the recently launched Absolute Radio 60s and 70s next quarter.

The network radio stations which have become a feature of the UK radio industry over the past couple of years have posted some good results this quarter. The largest commercial radio network in the country is Global’s Heart Network which delivers 7.4 million listeners, closely followed by the Capital Network on 7 million listeners. Kiss UK has delivered 4.1 million, Magic UK 3.8 million, Smooth Radio UK 3.3 million, and Total Real Radio 2.6 million.

Digital listening has grown to account for a 29.1% share of all radio listening, with a weekly reach of 44.4% of people listening to digital radio, either through DAB, DTV, the internet or ‘other’. The latest RAJAR figures recorded 20.9 million adults (40%) claiming to live in a household which has a DAB receiver. The number one commercial, digital only, radio station in the UK is now Smash Hits with over one million listeners (1,004,000). Also owned by Bauer, The Hits takes second place with 984,000. After impressive results last quarter Absolute 80s has dropped in reach to 828,000 whilst the independently owned Planet Rock takes fourth position achieving 811,000 listeners.

The UK’s largest commercial radio group is Global Radio (19.4 million listeners), thanks in part to the strength of the Heart and Capital Network of stations. Bauer Radio is the second largest commercial group, with a 13.3 million reach. GMG Radio has seen their overall reach increase to almost 5.9 million whilst UTV Radio, owners of talkSPORT, reach 4,466,000 listeners.

Sunrise Radio, broadcasting in London on analogue and across the UK via digital (online and DAB) now achieves a reach of 490,000. But there have been year-on-year declines across Kismat Radio in London, Buzz Asia and Premier Christian Radio who delivered results of 69,000 adults; 108,000 adults and 89,000 adults respectively.

Finally onto mobile listening – RAJAR shows that 15.1% of adults and 32.2% of 15-24’s now claim to listen to radio on their mobile phone. Nearly all the UK’s radio stations are providing smartphone apps to enhance the mobile listening experience. An upcoming RAB / Other Lines Of Enquiries study into mobile radio listening is expected to show some interesting results.

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

SOURCE: RAJAR Q4 2011

Si Pearce is Head of Insight at RadioWorks – the UK’s Premier Radio Advertising Agency

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