A Question of Commercial Radio

I was talking to a colleague of mine the other day who asked: Are there any commercial radio stations that we cannot advertise on?

That seemingly random question led me down the path of contemplation…

My first thought was, I guess it depends what you mean by commercial?

If you mean commercial as in mass market, (i.e. commercial music), then yes, Radio 1 plays commercial music and could therefore be described as a commercial station, but you can’t advertise on it… Or can you? The last time I listened to Radio 1 there were loads of adverts. OK those adverts were for other BBC programmes, but they were still messages trying to get me to do something.

If you mean commercial in reference to advertising, then you’d expect that to be more of a straight forward question to answer. After all, a commercial station you can’t advertise on would almost be a contradiction. But that got me thinking about some examples, because there are some commercial radio stations – such as the soon to be launched Team Rock – which don’t carry standard spot advertising at all. Instead they provide the advertiser with opportunities to speak to their audience through sponsorships and promotions.

Different still is Amazing Radio. They’re a good example of a commercial station that takes things one step further, as they rarely carry any form of advertising at all. The station has been set up to champion emerging and independent artists; although there are no ads as such, the songs that are played are themselves like commercials, and listeners are encouraged to go to sister company Amazing Tunes to purchase the tracks they like.

Perhaps the purest example of a commercial radio station that doesn’t carry advertising is The Arrow, a DAB radio station owned by Global Radio. I for one love the constant, uninterrupted, stream of classic rock. (Don’t tell everyone about it though because if the listener numbers start to go up, I’m sure they’ll start trying to make money out of it!) 

A final example is UCB, a Christian radio station set up as a charity which rarely takes money for the commercials they play – and they usually only play charity ads. Any messages are normally designated as ‘consumer interest’ rather than commercials.

That more or less covers off the different types of commercial radio stations that don’t carry any advertising, though I’d just like to finish with a thought about the non-commercial BBC radio stations: Although these stations don’t carry any paid for messages, you don’t need to listen too long before you hear a minor celebrity talking about the latest research from client X. This is considered as Broadcast PR and is one potential way of getting commercial messaging on to a non-commercial station. (You can speak to us about this sort of thing too!).

So, to answer the original question – are there any commercial stations we cannot advertise on? Yes there are, but there’s plenty that you can advertise on as well!

(Suffice to say – I don’t think that particular work colleague will be asking me a quick question again for a while!).

 

Simon Pearce is the Client Insight Director at audio and radio advertising specialist RadioWorks

RAJAR Q2 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.

Enjoy…

It’s been another good quarter for digital listening! This quarter saw an increase, with 326 million listening hours, and 46% of the population tuning in to the radio via any digital platform up from 45% last quarter.

RAJAR, the radio audience survey, shows that 89% of people in the UK listen to the radio every week. Commercial radio reaches over 33 million listeners and achieves an increased listener share of 43.3% versus the BBC’s 54.3%. On a local level commercial radio completely dominates the BBC, delivering 26.3 million listeners compared to the BBC’s 8.9 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; despite a drop in listener numbers they still deliver a reach of 2,072,000 adult listeners.  However, in terms of listening share it is Heart London which has shown strong quarter on quarter growth to take the top position with 5.3%.  Going back to the reach table, Magic 105.4 have maintained their reach from the previous quarter delivering 1,951,000, and Heart London (1,798,000) has held off Kiss 100 (1,740,000) to take third position. A 22.2% quarter on quarter growth to 974,000 from Total Absolute Radio (London) has seen them take fifth position in terms of reach with LBC (809,000) dropping to sixth. Note: It is possible to measure Classic FM by its London only transmitter, which delivers 1,269,000.

LONDON BREAKFAST: The much talked about ‘battle of the breakfast shows’ has again been won by Capital Radio London, with 1,156,000 listeners to their show from 6-10am. This is the second set of results for Capital Radio since a change to the line-up saw Dave Berry replace Johnny Vaughan as Lisa Snowdon’s co-host on the breakfast show, and although their reach has dropped slightly, they will no doubt be happy to retain the number one spot.  Neil Fox’s Magic Breakfast Show (5-9am) has retained second place with 760,000 listeners, whilst Kiss Breakfast with Rickie, Melvin & Charlie (6-9am) have managed to achieve third position with 735,000 weekly listeners – beating Jamie and Harriet on Heart London (6-9am) who achieved 734,000 listeners.

NEW STATIONS: This is the first RAJAR for a number of rebranded stations, with the biggest change being the Orion Media owned, Midlands based, Free Radio stations. Previously reporting as BRMB, Mercia, Wyvern and Beacon, the stations are now part of the Free Radio Network. We often see poor results when stations first rebrand, with listeners getting used to the new name and station and Free Radio has proved no different, dropping from a combined reach of 801,000 to 708,000. Exeter FM also dropped slightly in reach after their rebrand to Radio Exe,but going from 28,000 to 25,000 won’t phase them too much. Eagle Extra, previously County Sound, appears to have bucked the trend, increasing their weekly reach from 6,000 to 13,000. As have Heart Cornwall – previously 105-107 Atlantic FM – who joined the massive Heart Network and increased their weekly reach from 66,000 to 68,000.

REGIONAL REVIEW: Briefly looking around the regions; Isle of Wight Radio, recent winner of the Arqiva Station of the Year (for under 300,000 TSA), have posted strong weekly reach figures of 36,000 listeners, 30% of the available population. In Harrogate (North Yorkshire), Stray FM has seen positive quarter on quarter growth, delivering 47,000 listeners (33%) up 3,000 listeners on the previous results. And, if you’re heading down to Weymouth to see the Olympic Sailing, why not tune in to Wessex FM who have posted a weekly reach of 40% (47,000 weekly listeners).

NATIONAL STATIONS: Classic FM remains the most listened to (single) commercial radio station in the UK. The station has maintained its reach of 5.4 million adults with listeners tuning in for an average of 6.4 hours. Keeping a focus on the national analogue stations – talkSPORT held on to second place despite not being able to continue their record reach of previous quarters, achieving 2.9 million weekly listeners. While Absolute Radio (National + London) managed improved results, up 9.4% quarter on quarter to 1,763,000. Note: Kiss UK, who broadcast across the UK via online, digital TV and on a number of DAB transmitters plus three regional FM licenses have achieved 4.3 million listeners, while Smooth Radio, who also broadcast nationally on DAB and have several regional licences (with local content in Scotland), has delivered figures of 3.2 million weekly adult listeners.

NETWORK STATIONS: The network radio stations which have become a feature of the UK radio industry over the past couple of years have again delivered some big numbers this quarter. The largest commercial radio network in the country is Global’s Heart Network which delivers almost 7.4 million listeners, closely followed by the Capital Network on just under 7 million listeners. Kiss UK has delivered 4.3 million, Magic UK 3.7 million, Smooth Radio UK 3.2 million, and Real Radio UK 2.4 million.

Note: As the UK radio marketplace changes there is some convergence between national and network stations. Whilst the lines are becoming blurred, RadioWorks define network stations as those which have locally produced content, whilst national stations have the same output right across the country and are also available on a mainstream national transmitter (Analogue Radio or Digital Radio).

DIGITAL RADIO: Digital listening has grown to account for a 31.5% share of all radio listening, with 46% of people now listening to digital radio, either through DAB, DTV, the internet or ‘other’. The latest RAJAR figures recorded that 21.8 million adults (41.7%) claim 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 Radio, with over one million listeners (1,011,000). Also owned by Bauer, The Hits has dropped to second place with 973,000. Planet Rock increased their reach again by 10.1% quarter on quarter to take third position with a reach figure of 948,000. Absolute Radio 80s delivered 864,000 listeners to achieve fourth place with Heat Radio delivering 713,000.

GROUP PERFORMANCE: The UK’s largest commercial radio group is Global Radio (delivering a total of 19.3 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 adults. GMG Radio, who are now a part of Global Radio (subject to confirmation from the competitions commission)has delivered a 5.5 million weekly reach, whilst UTV Radio, owners of talkSPORT, reaches 4.3 million listeners.

TARGETED STATIONS: Premier Christian Radio, broadcasting in London on analogue and across the UK via digital (online and DAB) have improved their quarter on quarter reach and now deliver 172,000 listeners every week. There has also been quarter on quarter increases for Sunrise Radio (London) who reach 286,000 weekly listeners.

MOBILE LISTENING: RAJAR shows that 18% of adults and 35% 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 providing advertisers with an additional point of contact. A recent RAB / Other Lines Of Enquiries study into mobile radio listening showed 32% of 16-34 year olds have listened to radio via mobile (at some stage), and 20% listen at least once a week.

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 meSimon@RadioWorks.co.uk

SOURCE: RAJAR Q2 2012

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

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.

Enjoy…

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

SOURCE: RAJAR Q1 2012

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

Absolute Radio: Redefining Radio

Had a very interesting morning today thanks to Absolute Radio who invited me and a few RadioWorks colleagues along to their Redefining Radio conference at Portcullis House, just across the road from the countries seat of power. Speakers for the event included Ed Vaizey, the Minister for Culture, Communications & Creative Industries, Karla Geci from Facebook, the BBC’s Tim Davie, Rohan Oomen from Xbox Live and Absolute Radio’s Clive Dickens, James Wigley, Geoff Lloyd and Dave Gorman.

If you don’t have time to read this full post skip to my summary at the bottom 🙂

The general message from all the speakers was that of positivity – radio listening is still growing and currently reaches 91% of the UK population was a stat rolled out by at least three of the speakers. Ed Vaizey told us how neither video or technology killed the Radio star, despite many predictions of its demise. Whilst Clive Dickens reminded us of how non-traditional radio is growing and commented on the changes the internet is having on the medium.

It seems to me that the World Wide Web really is ‘wide’ and can offer plenty of opportunities for Radio Output (or should that be Audio?). Radio stations are already making good use of Facebook in terms of listener interaction and services like Spotify and the UK RadioPlayer are telling all our friends what we’re listening to.

One of radio’s strengths is the sense of community that comes from being a listener. It is this sense of community that Xbox Live has developed with its users and what Facebook thrives off of. The challenge for radio, as defined by Absolute, is ‘Broadcasting one to many (to their community) whilst advertising one to one’. The answer? Well, according to Clive Dickens and James Wigley from Absolute, the answer is in-stream advertising. Encouraging listeners to sign up to an Absolute Radio account provides the station with rich listener data while the listener benefits from additional services and less, more relevant messages. RadioWorks are currently testing the in-stream advertising with one of our clients so if you’re interested in further information please contact us.

For me the best speaker of the morning was the BBC’s Director of Audio and Music, Tim Davie. Tim echoed the message of positivity around radio and mentioned that ‘listeners relationship with radio is the strongest of any media’. For further growth in the radio sector Tim pointed us towards improved creativity and innovations via partnerships – with the UK Radio Player cited as a good example of how this has worked in recent times.

The conference was wrapped up by writer, broadcaster and general funny man Dave Gorman who made two great points…

  1. A conversation is an interaction between two people, it doesn’t matter if it’s through twitter or across the airways – engaging with your audience / your community and speaking with them is what works
  2. People don’t care how they are listening (if it’s via the web, mobile, or AM) what they care about is that they are listening at all – and enjoying it (hopefully)

If you want to hear a great conversation in action I can definitely recommend his radio show, Sunday’s from 10am on Absolute Radio

So, in summary what have I taken away from this morning’s conference?

  • Radio is currently in a very strong position and has continued to grow despite the rise of new technologies
  • Radio needs to constantly adapt in order to have continued success – embracing creativity and technological developments whilst providing more targeted advertising opportunities
  • Radio needs to remember its core strengths and not lose sight of where it’s come from. Retain the sense of community, engage with the audience and keep them entertained.

Thanks for your time.

Si

PS > More information and twitter feed from today’s conference can be found on Absolute Radio’s blog http://onegoldensquare.com/

RAJAR Q2 2011

This quarter radio continues to break through barriers, with record reach and listening hours!

The latest RAJAR results are out and 92% of the UK  population now tune in to radio every week, with over 1 billion listening hours of radio consumed each week! 47.6 million  adults listen to radio each week, up from 47.3 million adults in Q1, and  750,000 listeners more than were listening a year ago!

Commercial radio has  reported 4% growth in listening hours quarter on quarter, with just under half a billion hours of commercial radio  consumed each week, by 34 million adults!

National stations: Despite a slight dip in this RAJAR Classic FM is still the single largest  commercial station in the UK,  with weekly reach of 5.7m and 38m listening hours each week.  talkSPORT have had strong RAJAR with an audience of 3.2 million listeners each week, but  their listening hours are down QonQ to 20 million hours . With their exclusive  Rugby World Cup commentary fast approaching we expect to see further rises. Planet Rock, which recently won the  Arqiva award for “Digital Station of the Year”, have also reported record reach  with 857,000 listeners per week. Their audience is predominantly 25-54’s and  skewed to a male audience. Absolute  Radio’s 80’s, 90’s and 00’s stations have had a fantastic set of results as  detailed above, and Absolute Radio itself has reported a rise in reach with 1.6 million listeners each week, and a  significant rise in listening hours with just over 14 million per week! With  total reach across the Absolute Radio Network creeping up towards the 3 million mark, all we need to find out now is who their  new owners are going to be…

Capital FM London: In  the ever competitive London  marketplace, this quarter’s winner is Bauer’s Magic 105.4, with a 6.1% market  share and the highest reach and listening hours amongst all its contemporaries.  It is followed by Heart London (5.1%), Capital London (4.8%), LBC (ILR) (4.5%)  and Kiss 100 (4.3%) is in fifth position. It’s always staggering to see how  strong Global Radio’s speech programming on LBC is, as each week their audience  is tuning in for an average of 10.6 hours – which is the highest hours per  listener in London (by a significant margin!).

So how are the groups doing? Well Global Radio now reports 20m listeners each week, delivering 172m  hours (up from 167m hours last quarter). Heart’s audience accounts for 7.7m  reach and 54m hours (and rising), Capital accounts for 6.9m reach and 45m hours  (and rising), Classic for 5.7m reach and 38m hours and Gold 1.5m reach and 13m  hours. Bauer reports 13.7m listeners  each week and 115m hours (up from 112m hours last quarter). Bauer’s Place  Portfolio accounts for 9m reach and 75m hours (up) and its Passion portfolio  for 6.6m reach and 40m hours (up). GMG now  have 5.5 million weekly listeners, listening for 47 million hours (up from  46.5m hours last quarter). Smooth Radio now accounts for 3.2m of those  listeners, and they’re listening for 24m hours (up from 23m last quarter). Whilst  Real Radio accounts for 2.5m listeners, consuming 21m hours of output each  week. UTV’s audience is now 4.5m, consuming  34.2m hours of radio. talkSPORT accounts for 3.2m of those listeners, who  consume 20m hours each week. Absolute  Radio Network have had a really strong RAJAR and are reporting 2.9m  listeners each week, whilst delivering 24m hours. This is a huge jump from 2.4m  listeners and 17.6m hours last quarter! Orion  Media have stayed steady with 1.4m listeners each week and 10m hours. Sunrise Radio Group is also steady with  0.6m listening each week and 5m hours. JazzFM is similar with 0.6m reach and 2.2m hours.

Real Radio Wales New station to RAJAR this quarter is Wales’  first national commercial station, Real  Radio Wales. In their first set of result they are reporting reach of  471,000 each week – which is already higher than BBC Radio Wales! That said  their audience in North and Mid Wales is still quite low, but from watching their  long term performance with other station launches we would expect this to  continue to rise in coming quarters.

Round the country with  over 300 stations we have to choose a selection of highlights for you, and this  quarter we thought we’d take a look at the stations with the highest percentage  reach each week. Radio Borders (The  Scottish Borders) and Channel 103 (Jersey) both reach a phenomenal 57% of their potential  audience each week. So to be clear 57% of those that could tune in do! Moray Firth (Inverness)  reaches 54%. Island FM (Guernsey)  reaches 51%, Manx Radio (no prizes  for guessing its coverage!) reaches 50% and West Sound (SW Scotland) reaches  49%. Stations delivering over 40% weekly reach also include CFM (Carlisle), Radio Pembrokeshire, Cool FM (Northern Ireland), Northsound One, Swansea Sound/The Wave and Spire FM. This is something commercial  radio does much better than the BBC, as commercial’s local services are much  stronger (local commercial reaches 53% of people each week, whereas local BBC  reaches 19%).

Some of the biggest successes, looking at percentage growth  in audience quarter on quarter, include Absolute  Radio 80’s, 90’s and 00’s (up 37%, 39% and 21% respectively QonQ), NME Radio (up 24% QonQ, but still down  when looking YoY) and in London Kismat,  Sunrise and Premier Christian Radio have both reported significantly higher  audiences QonQ and YonY (58%, 25% and 100% respectively). At the other end of  the scale the “Gold format” stations feature heavily amongst stations reporting  a decline in reach QonQ.

Digital Listening             Listening to radio via a digital receiver has now reached  26.9% of all radio listening, that’s an increase of over 10% year on year! 22  million people now tune in to radio via a digitally enabled receiver (DAB, DTV,  internet) each week, for 289 million hours each week! DAB radio takes the  largest share of this listening accounting for 64% of all digital hours, with  DTV taking 18% and internet hours accounting for 12%. Listening to radio via a  mobile phone has increased 16% year on year with 14% of all adults saying that  they’ve listened in this way, and a massive 31% of 15-24 year olds saying they  have listened in this way.

Station’s who podcast their shows are also reporting some  good success stories. In particular Absolute Radio’s Frank Skinner Show posted  record figures of 5 million downloads in the first six months of the year, and  a million downloads in June alone, which for a station with 1.6 million  listeners at the latest count is a phenomenal number! No wonder they re-signed  him until May 2012!

RAJAR Q3 2011 In  the next wave of RAJAR, which is due out on 26th October, the  results will include responses via RAJAR’s new online radio listening diary.  The online survey mirrors the paper diary, allowing all data to be integrated  for reporting. RAJAR have been testing the diaries over the last few quarters,  and have seen very consistent results with the paper diary. This shouldn’t come  as a huge surprise as the questions are the same, but it has been an important  test for RAJAR to ensure that the online data is as robust and reliable as the  paper diaries. We believe around 16% of results in the next RAJAR wave will  have come from the online diary.

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

All the latest RAJAR Analysis can be found at http://www.radioworks.co.uk/rajar-analysis