RAJAR, the radio audience survey, shows that 89% of people in the UK listen to the radio every week. All radio (BBC and commercial) enjoyed a small 0.2% QoQ increase in reach, though its total reach sits just below the 47m mark after a -1.8% YoY drop.
Commercial radio has gained back some share from the BBC this quarter, up 1% to 43.3% of radio listening, compared with the BBC’s 54.3% which is down -1.1% QoQ.
In what was a poor set of results for London radio, only six stations (out of 17) recorded a QoQ increase. However, Total Absolute Radio London (which includes internet listening) bucked the trend, enjoying a 22.2% QoQ increase. Capital retained its position at the top of the London chart despite a -8.7% QoQ drop in reach, with Magic 105.4 still in second place. In third place, Heart London has swapped places with Kiss 100 again, despite both stations seeing their reach decline during the quarter. LBC 97.3 remains in fifth place despite a -6.7% loss QoQ.
The largest commercial radio network in the country is the Heart Network which delivers almost 7.4m listeners, closely followed by the Capital Network with just under 7m listeners. Kiss UK delivered 4.3m, an increase of 1.4% YoY; with Magic UK reaching 3.7m; Smooth Radio UK 3.2m; and Real Radio UK 2.4m.
Classic FM remains the most listened to (single) commercial radio station in the UK, maintaining its reach of 5.4m adults with listeners tuning in for an average of 6.4 hours.
talkSPORT, a station likely to see an uplift from the Olympics, suffered a -9.7% QoQ and -9.1% YoY decline in its weekly reach. However it still remains the second largest national commercial station.
The Absolute Radio network had a massively successful quarter and increased its weekly reach to 3.2m, up 9.7% YoY and 6.7% QoQ. This is the highest reach that the business, which includes Absolute Classic Rock and Absolute 80s, has achieved in 12 years.
First Radio Sales, who represent 118 of the UK’s local radio services, report that over 5.2m adults tune in to a FRS radio station for an average of 9 hours per week. 106 Jack FM in Oxford, Nation Radio in Wales and Surrey and Hampshire’s Eagle Extra are amongst the biggest success stories of the quarter.
Digital listening has grown to account for a 31.5% share of all radio listening, a 13% YoY increase, with 46% of people now listening to digital radio and 21.8m adults (42%) 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 Radio, with over a million listeners. The Hits dropped to second place with Planet Rock, Absolute Radio 80s and Heat Radio making up the top five.
RAJAR shows that 18% of adults and 35% of 15-24s now claim to listen to radio on their mobile phone. Nearly all the UK’s radio stations are providing smartphone apps to enhance the listening experience and provide media agencies with an additional point of contact.