On Rajar Day everyone is a winner, or at least that’s what the radio networks would have us believe. However, if you dig deep enough some are clearly more triumphant than others.
Commercial radio managed to attract some more listeners and now reaches over 34 million people – an increase of 3% quarter on quarter and 5.9% year on year. Current share figures show BBC at 55%, Commercial at 42.6% and ‘other’ at 2.4%.
Nationally, talkSPORT continues a successful run by increasing listenership by 5% quarter on quarter, and an impressive 37% year on year. Average hours per listener however, did drop by 13.9% quarter on quarter, although year and year the drop is only 1.4%.
Classic FM was another shining beacon of success and now reaches over the 6 million barrier. Average hours per listener have dropped by 6.9% QonQ but remain static YonY.
Not to be outdone with the current re-branding going on at Capital, Bauer have created their own two distinct buying portfolios in the form of the Place and Passion networks. The Place portfolio is simply the Big City Network plus the Magic Network and Wave on the South Coast. The Passion portfolio is a combination of the Kiss & Kerrang brands plus Bauer’s digital only stations.
This means that the Place Network reaches 7.8 million adults per week and the Passion Network reaches 6.6 million adults per week.
Overall the Capital Network grew again and now reaches 6.7 million weekly listeners and delivers 44 million listening hours per week.
The Heart Network declined slightly in reach QonQ from 7.7 million to 7.4 million listeners per week. With total listening hours dropping from 57.8m to 57.1m QonQ.
The Gold Network saw a slight increase QonQ of 23,000 listeners. The network now reaches 1.48 million listeners per week. However total listening hours are down 4.1% to 12,638,000.
The Smooth Network remains static with the exact same reach figures QonQ of 3.084 million listeners, whilst hours have dropped by 3.5%, to 23,035,000.
The Real Radio Network now reaches 2.2 million listeners which is an increase of 94,000 listeners QonQ. The network has added 841,000 hours, 4.25%, QonQ which brings total listening to 20,635,000 hours.
22.3 million listeners now tune into radio using a digital receiver each week (up from 20.9 million on last quarter). The number of listening hours has also increased – up 15.4% to 280 million.
DAB yet again remains the most popular way of listening to digital radio, accounting for 63.1% of all digital hours. Listening to DTV (digital television) and the internet have also continued to rise, with internet listening now reaching 3.6%.
Share of listening via a digital platform now stands at 26.5% and although this is heading in the right direction it is still a far cry from the 50% share required by 2013 to ensure that the digital switchover can go ahead in 2015.
Listening via a mobile phone has also risen in popularity with 13.8% of adults listening to radio this way. This method remains most popular with people aged between 15-24 years.
So overall, a mix bag of results but there’s no doubt that commercial radio continues to thrive. Digital Radio is definitely making progress but not quite as quickly as the industry had hoped.