RAJAR Figures

By The Drum, Administrator

June 6, 2002 | 3 min read

The commercial radio market is a war zone. Across the country stations are doing battle with each other to secure a bigger chunk of audience share and constantly changing and updating their armoury to make as much of an impact and do as much damage to the competition as possible.

The latest RAJAR figures revealed the results of last quarter’s on- and off-air campaigns - and also stated that the radio audience as a whole is continuing to grow.

In the North, the armies of Emap are still winning the audience war, with the company’s Big City Network adding more than a million new listeners. Emap’s head of radio, Mark Story, explains that the company’s success is down to a number of changes implemented last year.

He says: “About a year ago we changed a lot of our breakfast shows. We’re really seeing that come through now. In our biggest stations, Key 103 in Manchester and Metro in Newcastle, breakfast is really the key to the day. If you get people in the morning, the chances are they’ll stay with you throughout the day. I think it's been a bit slower in Yorkshire because we introduced the changes later.”

The Chrysalis-owned Galaxy network has also added listeners over the past quarter, with Yorkshire’s Galaxy 105 coming out particularly well. Programme director Andrew Jeffries puts the station’s success down to the consistently fresh content coupled with a stable line-up of presenters. He says: “We’ve had an exceptional run in the last few RAJARs, both last year and this year. We do a lot of research into the market, making sure we know our audience, and we put things on air that haven’t been done before. It sounds like a patronising thing to say, but we are a great team and we make great radio.”

Capital currently has the lowest audience share in the North, with most Century stations taking a slight dip from the last RAJARs. Century 100-102 in the North East, however, is still managing to gain ground.

The last quarter has also seen another major development in the radio war. With the imminent changes in the UK’s media ownership laws the UK battlefields could now be open to alliances or invasion from Europe. Emap's Story says: “I think one of the things that’s interesting, and it’s one of the crazy things, is that the changes are giving open opportunity to overseas investors, and that’s something we’re not happy about. I think consolidation within the UK is essential to allow there to be UK media companies that can compete with these overseas companies.”

In the months to come, who knows what effect the media superpowers of Europe will have on the RAJARs.


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