RAJAR Q1 2012 – Headlines and Comment

A few headlines from this quarter’s RAJAR results…

  • 45% of the population listen to Digital Radio every week
  • Capital hold on to the number one spot in London, with their breakfast show also finishing on top
  • Bauer take the top two digital only commercial station spots with Hits and Smash Hits

And here is my comment on some of the results…

It’s been a great week for radio in Liverpool with local stations Radio City and 107.6 Juice FM bringing home Gold from the Sony Radio Academy Awards and improving their listening figures. We’ve been listening in to Juice this week and can confirm it is a great station. Targeted at Liverpool’s young, hip and happening population it’s a station that doesn’t take itself too seriously whilst at the same time being able to provide great content. My favourite feature so far has been ‘Orange Wednesday’ which gives the tan loving ladies of Liverpool the opportunity to win a spray tan! Keep up the good work Juice!

Here at RadioWorks we’ve been talking a lot about Radio’s Digital Future via DAB, online listening and mobile listening. The BBC stations 4 Extra and UK station of the year 6 Music have been leading the way in terms of reach but Commercial stations are not too far behind. Absolute Radio are embracing all the digital platforms and have reported that 77% of their total listening is now via digital – against an industry average of 29.2% – and they are providing advertisers with new ways to target these digital listeners, including Absolute Radio inStream. Another digital only station, Jazz FM deserves to be mentioned here. Jazz have increased their reach 13.9% year on year to now deliver 546,000 weekly listeners and they now deliver 2.4 million listening hours every week.

Simon Pearce is Head of Insight at RadioWorks and Maple Street Studios


RAJAR Q1 2012

Hi All,

Here’s my full RAJAR update for Quarter 1 2012 – if this is a little too much, check out my comments which I will be posting shortly.


It’s been another good quarter for Digital Listening! This quarter saw an increase in Digital Listening with 311 million listening hours and 45% of the population tuning in to the radio via any digital platform.

RAJAR, the radio audience survey, shows that 90% of people in the UK listen to the radio every week. Commercial Radio reaches over 33 million listeners and achieves a listener share of 42.3% versus the BBC’s 55.4%. On a local level commercial radio completely dominates the BBC delivering 26.5 million listeners compared to the BBC’s 9.9 million for local and regional services.

LONDON LISTENING: In the London marketplace Capital London has held on to the number one spot in terms of reach with a 4.1% year on year increase taking them to a reach of 2,269,000 listeners. Magic 105.4 has dropped off slightly in terms of reach down to 1,963,000. However, in terms of listening share Magic has grown their hours to take top position from Capital with a share of 6.1%. Going back to the reach table, strong improvements from Kiss sees them move above Heart London to take third position. The Sony Award winning station Kiss FM delivered a year on year increase of 7.5% to achieve 1,958,000 weekly listeners – a share of 5.1% and places them at third in the share table. With 1.9 million listeners per week Heart London is in fourth place in terms of reach but poor listening hours has seen the station drop to fifth place with a share of only 4.4%. After recent strong results, LBC have had a poor quarter, seeing their reach drop to 867,000 and the share drop to 4.6%. The national station Classic FM also reports London only figures and delivered 1.1 million listeners with a share of 3.5%.

LONDON BREAKFAST: The much talked about ‘battle of the breakfast shows’ has been won by Capital London, with 1,265,000 listeners to their show from 6-10. This is the first set of results for Capital London since a change to the line-up saw Dave Berry replace Johnny Vaughan as Lisa Snowdon’s co-host on the breakfast show, so they will no doubt be very happy to retain the number one position despite a slight drop over last quarter’s results. Neil Fox’s Magic Breakfast Show (5-9am) has retained second place with 793,000. Whilst Jamie and Harriet on Heart London (6-9am) have jumped up to third position with a reach of 759,000 weekly listeners. Kiss Breakfast with Rickie, Melvin & Charlie (6-9am) this week won a Sony Gold Award for their show but unfortunately failed to grow their audience, achieving only 750,000 weekly listeners. This is still some way ahead of the fifth and sixth placed London Breakfast shows, LBC (561,000) and Absolute Radio Network London (532,000).

REGIONAL REVIEW: Briefly looking around the regions; Liverpool appears to be the place to be if you want to listen to award winning radio. At this week’s Sony Radio Academy Awards – the radio Oscars – two local stations in the city both brought home Gold Awards. Radio City won the station of the year award for a population of over one million, and the micro station Juice FM won the station of the year award for a population fewer than one million. In terms of listening figures, they also delivered some strong results. Juice posted an increase of 9,000 listeners’ quarter on quarter to now reach 204,000 (21%), with Radio City reaching 447,000 (25%). And both stations showed an increase in listening hours. Outside of Liverpool there are a couple of stations whose RAJAR results that cannot be overlooked – Channel 103 & Island FM in Jersey and Guernsey respectively. This quarter, Island reached 49% of the population and Channel an amazing 58% reach of its available population – so if you want to advertise to people in the Channel Islands radio is a great way to reach the audience.

NATIONAL STATIONS: Classic FM remains the most listened to (single) commercial radio station in the UK. Despite a positive quarter the station is down over 10% year on year, with a reach of 5.4 million adults. Keeping a focus on the national analogue stations – talkSPORT, another Sony Award winner (for Best Sports Programme) improved their reach again and now delivers over 3.2 million listeners, while Absolute Radio remained around the 1.6 million mark. The Total Absolute Radio Network, which this quarter added Absolute Radio 60s and 70s to its stable of decade stations, has improved their results quarter on quarter, and now deliver almost 3 million listeners (2,978,000).

NETWORK STATIONS: 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 over 7.4 million listeners, closely followed by the Capital Network on 7 million listeners. Kiss UK has delivered 4.3 million, Magic UK 3.6 million, Smooth Radio UK 3.3 million, and Total Real Radio 2.5 million.

DIGITAL RADIO: Digital listening has grown to account for a 29.2% share of all radio listening, with a weekly reach of 45.1% of people listening to digital radio, either through DAB, DTV, the internet or ‘other’. The latest RAJAR figures recorded 22 million adults (44.6%) claiming to live in a household which has a DAB receiver. The number one commercial, digital only, radio station in the UK is now The Hits with over one million listeners (1,081,000). Also owned by Bauer, Smash Hits has dropped to second place with 991,000. Planet Rock increased their reach 6.2% quarter on quarter to take third position with a reach of 861,000; with Absolute Radio 80s reaching 857,000 to achieve fourth and Heat Radio delivering 716,000. This is the first set of results for the recently launched Absolute Radio 60s and Absolute Radio 70s, both stations helped the Absolute business to post their highest audience figures for almost 10 years with 60’s achieving 151,000 and 70s delivering 157,000 weekly reaching.

GROUP PERFORMANCE: The UK’s largest commercial radio group is Global Radio (19.2 million listeners), thanks in part to the strength of its three core brands Classic FM, Heart and Capital. Bauer Radio with their Place and Passion Portfolios is the second largest commercial group, with a total reach of 13.3 million. GMG Radio has delivered 5.5 million weekly reach whilst UTV Radio, owners of talkSPORT, reach 4,461,000 listeners.

TARGETED STATIONS: Premier Christian Radio, broadcasting in London on analogue and across the UK via digital (online and DAB) now achieves a reach of 153,000. And there have also been quarter on quarter increases across Kismat Radio and Buzz Asia in London, delivering 105,000 and 119,000 respectively. Sunrise Radio has seen a slight drop quarter on quarter to 457,000 weekly reach.

MOBILE LISTENING: Finally onto mobile listening – RAJAR shows that 16.9% of adults and 32.8% 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 and provide advertisers with an additional point of contact. 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 please feel free to contact your RadioWorks representative or alternatively email Simon@RadioWorks.co.uk