Latest Rajar figures reveal rise in national commercial radio listening

According to the new Rajar figures for Q3 2010, all national commercial radio grew by 6.9% compared with the same period in 2009.

The figures, released today, also revealed that over 90% of the UK population listen to radio on a weekly basis and that radio listening rose by 2.3% in the last quarter in comparison with last year, with 46.8 million adult listeners tuning in, 90.6% of the UK population.

The increase is partially down to the rise in ownership of DAB Radios, which grew by 10.3% this year so far.

In total, the BBC’s Radio stations rose by 2.5% in comparison with the same period last year, with Radio One growing by 4.8% while BBC Regional grew by 7.2% compared with last year.

All commercial radio however also grew by 6.9%, with all National commercial radio up by 11.7% and all local commercial stations rising by 7.7% in total.

Absolute Radio Classic Rock saw the largest growth rate with a 69.3% increase on last year, with the total Absolute Radio Stations growing by 4.2% to 1,654,000.

The total Real Radio stations fell by 1% to 2,371,000, although Smooth Radio picked up by 8.9% to reach 3,053,000 and Galaxy Network decreased by 0.9% to 3,779,000.

The total XFM UK reach grew by 3% to reach 962,000 while TalkSport reach 2,960,000 listeners, a growth of 19.6% over the same quarter last year.

The largest rise in audience figures was recorded by Galaxy Scotland, with an overall increase of 82.8% from last year when it launched, reaching 457,000 listeners in total.

Overall GMG Scotland lost 1.6% with Real Radio (Scotland)’s listening figures decreasing by 4%, although Smooth Radio grew by 19.3%.

Bauer Scotland lost 0.3% of listeners with Radio Clyde’s audience falling by 0.6% on last year, although Clyde 2 grew by 17.4%, Forth One lost 11.3% and Forth 2 grew by 9.9%.

Sean Duffy, head of technology, media and telecoms, Barclays Corporate, said: “Radio’s resilience as a popular entertainment format has again been affirmed by the latest listening figures. With modest growth seen in advertising budgets coupled with returning confidence, media buyers are certainly looking to spend in this tried and tested medium, according to our radio clients.

“However, spending cuts affecting the Government’s Central Office of Information (COI), from which many stations derive a substantial proportion of their income, will see previously guaranteed revenue streams diminish in the near future, particularly for national stations. With little room left to strip out costs from most stations, this will again put consolidation pressure on the industry, and we are likely to see more standalone and regional operators snapped up by larger players.

“Digital radio ownership is making strong progress, however this will still need to increase considerably each quarter to meet the 2015 switchover target.”

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