RAJAR Q1 13 – Opinion Piece

Hi All

This quarter I gave my opinion on the latest radio listening figures through a number of ways, including; a live twitter Q&A (#SimonSays), an opinion piece in MediaWeek, and, by answering the questions below…

1. What will RAJAR Q1 2013 be remembered for?
A poor set of results for Nick Grimshaw on BBC Radio 1 whose results were down 1.3 million listeners compared to Chris Moyles’ results for the corresponding quarter last year.

2. Which radio station is your RAJAR hero?
XFM London! The station is up a massive 40% Year on Year and 29% Quarter on Quarter in a very competitive marketplace to now deliver 574,000 weekly listeners. The new breakfast show host Jon Holmes has also performed well in his first set of figures for the stations with features such as ‘Miles Away’ obviously going down well with listeners.

3. What station really surprised you this quarter?
Well, if I’m allowed to have more than one I’d go for Capital Yorkshire who recorded their highest ever reach of 1.13 million, and, 106 Jack FM in Bristol who recorded their strongest hours (724,000) and reach (125,000).

4. How would you describe digital radios results?
It’s been another good RAJAR for digital listening with increases in both reach and share. Half of the country’s population (49.6%) are now tuning in to radio via digital means every week, and with 23 million adults having access to a DAB receiver it’s no surprise that this is the most popular way of listening to digital. In terms of share of listening hours, digital has reached an all-time high and now accounts for 34.3% of all listening. And, it’s also good to see listening via online/apps grow to a 5% share. This growth is no doubt as a result of initiatives like UK RadioPlayer, Absolute’s Instream and the many radio station apps which can all provide advertisers with additional opportunities to reach listeners.

5. How did the London breakfast shows compare?
When considering the London marketplace for commercial radio it is Dave Berry and Lisa Snowdon on Capital that take the crown as King and Queen, delivering over 1 million listeners to their show which airs between 6-10am – even beating Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw in London (but he didn’t have the best of times). Another Global owned radio station, Heart London, stormed in to second place with their first set of figures since introducing Emma Bunton as co-host for Jamie Theakstone adding a whopping 120,000 listeners to their previous quarter’s results now delivering 768,000 (6-9am). Close behind is Neil Fox’s Magic 105.4 breakfast show on 765,000 (5-9am). Poor results for the Kiss breakfast show team of Rickie, Melvin and Charlie have seen them drop down to fourth position on 651,000 listeners (6-9am), whilst the Christian O’Connell breakfast show on Absolute Radio performed well increasing to 636,000 listeners (6-10am)

6. What’s your favourite fact this quarter?
From a national point of view my favourite fact is… Commercial radio’s chart show, the Vodafone Big Top 40, is now listened to by over 2.2 million people each week – more than 1 million listeners than Radio 1’s chart show. And on a local level I’ve got to go for this fact… Sun FM have beaten all competition in Sunderland (including BBC) and are now the undisputed number one station delivering higher reach and share than all their competitors in the area.

7. Describe Q1 2013 in one word…
Stats! How about one sentence instead? Nick Grimshaw and Radio 1’s loss is commercial radio’s gain.

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


RAJAR Q3 2011

A Good Quarter for Digital Listening!           

This Quarter saw an increase in Digital Listening with 300 million listening hours and 22.8 million people tuning in to the radio via a digital platform

Radio listening as a whole has remained  above the 47 million listener mark (47.1 million) and despite a slight quarter  on quarter decline (0.9%) commercial radio has achieved a reach of 33.7 million  listeners. The BBC stations have also seen a slight decline and now achieve  34.8 million listeners, whilst the share of hours sits at 54.5% for the BBC and  43.3% for commercial radio. It’s on a local level that commercial radio really  delivers verses the BBC, with 27 million listeners compared to 9.5 million for  the BBC’s local and regional services.

Capital FM In the London marketplace Capital London has regained the number one spot from Magic after a strong set of figures that  saw them reach 2,179,000 listeners, an increase of 4.9% on last quarter. Heart 106.2 also posted strong figures reaching over 2 million listeners (2,027,000) and  the highest share of listening hours with 5.8%. Magic 105.4 dropped below the 2  million mark (1,993,000) in terms of listeners whilst also dropping in share to  sit at 5.6% along with Capital. LBC’s strong hours have helped them finish fourth  in the London share table with 4.4% (841,000 reach), whilst Kiss have dropped  to fifth with 4% share (1,703,000 reach). Classic FM in London (only) delivered  over 1.4 million listeners with a share of 3.7%. Sticking with London Smooth  Radio should also get a mention as they increased their reach by 25.9% quarter  on quarter to deliver 612,000 listeners.

The much talked about ‘battle of the  breakfast shows’ has been won again by Johnny and Lisa on Capital Radio London.  The duo managed to bring in over 1.1 million listeners to their 6-10am  breakfast show ensuring they keep a strong grip on the number one spot. Improved  results from Jamie and Harriet on Heart London (6-9am) see them climb up to  second place with 843,000 listeners, whilst Neil Fox’s Magic FM breakfast show  (5-9am) has dropped off slightly to third place with 717,000 listeners. Kiss  100’s Rickie, Melvin and Charlie (6-9am) has also seen a slight drop, now  delivering 700,000 listeners leaving them in fourth position.

Jack FM Briefly looking around the regions; in York,  Minster FM reached 76,000 adults (25% of all available adults in their TSA –  Total Survey Area). The newly renamed station Jack FM South Coast (was Coast)  has delivered 103,000 reach (6%) in their first set of results. In Weston-Super-Mare  the micro station Nova Radio delivered 20,000 listeners (15%). Broadcasting in  Glasgow, Clyde 1 FM, which is a part of the new Bauer Place Portfolio, pulled  in 583,000 (32%), and in Blackpool Radio Wave 96.5 FM achieved 75,000 listeners  (32%).

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 (3.1 million) and Absolute Radio (1.6 million) will be happy with  their figures despite a slight quarter on quarter drop. 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 launch of Absolute Radio 60s and 70s in November.

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 7.6 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 28.2% share of all radio listening, with a weekly reach of 43.9% of people  listening to digital radio, either through DAB, DTV, the internet or ‘other‘.  The latest RAJAR figures recorded 20.5 million adults (39.4%) claiming to live  in a household which has a DAB receiver. The number one commercial, digital  only, radio station in the UK is now Absolute 80s which delivered over 1  million listeners (1,018,000). Bauer’s The Hits has dropped just below the 1  million mark (995,000) and Smash Hits delivered 889,000 listeners. The  independently owned Planet Rock takes fourth position achieving year on year  growth of 7.3%, now reaching 840,000 listeners.

The UK’s largest commercial radio group is Global Radio (19.8 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 13.6 million reach. GMG Radio has seen their overall  reach increase to 5.6 million whilst UTV Radio, owners of talkSPORT, reach 4,490,000  listeners.

Sunrise Radio, broadcasting in London on  analogue and across the UK via digital (online and DAB) has shown a year on  year decline of 10.5% and now achieves a reach of 453,000. Kismat Radio in  London delivered 133,000 listeners, while Buzz Asia and Premier Christian Radio delivered 101,000 adults and 181,000 adults respectively.

Finally onto mobile listening – 15.8% of adults  and almost 32.4% of 15-24’s now claim to listen to radio on their mobile phone.  Many radio stations are providing smartphone apps to enhance the mobile  listening experience, and a recent RAJAR study has found that over 20% of all  Smartphone owners have a radio app. Podcasts are also proving very popular –  Absolute Radioalone had 4.9 million podcasts downloaded in August 2011 (with  Frank Skinner’s show achieving over 1 million).

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