Radio listening hours decline despite rise in mobile use - RAJARS Reaction Q2 2012: Real Radio, talkSport, Smooth Radio, Bauer, UTV

The number hours spent listening to radio declined during the second quarter of 2012, despite almost 90% per cent of the UK's population now tuning into radio on a weekly basis.

The fall in listening hours is according to the latest the second quarter RAJARS figures,

which found that 89 per cent of the UK tunes in each week to radio, with the digital listening share up by 13 per cent to 31.5 per cent in 2011, as 46 per cent of listeners using a digital platform in order to do so.

18 per cent of adults was also found to listen to radio through their mobile phone - a rise of 24 per cent on last year, while 21.8m adults were found to have access to a DAB receiver, up eight per cent on last year.

Despite this, listening figures declined by four per cent to 1.03 billion hours in total during the second quarter, equal with 2010.

With record figures for Drive show and listening hours totalling 18.8m, alongside the highest ever unique users for its website, Moz Dee, talkSPORT programme director said: “While these figures are slightly down on the record highs that we achieved in recent quarters, we expected some fluctuations following our move to an all sports format. Our weekday programming is very strong with a record audience for Drive and while our weekends have been without live Premier League football this returns in just a couple of weeks time on the 18 August. This season we’re bringing listeners more live top level domestic football than ever before with the FA Cup, England games and our first ever commentary of the Community Shield, so we have every cause to be optimistic.”

Of UTV Media, which Yorkshire stations Pulse 1 and 2, Peak FM in Chesterfield and Signal radio in Staffordshire and Cheshire seeing a combined increase in weekly listening hours to 10.7m, despite a fall of seven per cent across all local radio, Calum Macaulay, director of Local Radio for UTV Media (GB) said: “These figures show the strength of UTV’s local stations in what has been a difficult book for local radio elsewhere. Juice FM and Signal continue to be an integral part of their communities and our strategy of investing in new talent and local sports rights for the group continues to pay off.”

Bauer saw its Place Portfolio reach 8.5m adults each week, with each average listener tuning in for 8.3 hours each week, it claimed, with Magic 105.4 reaching 1.9m listeners in London on a weekly basis.

Meanwhile the Bauer Passion Portfolio, including Kiss, Smash Hits and Heat Radio, saw a reach of 6.6m adults each week,with average listening hours calculated at 6.2hours a week. Within that, national Kiss station increase it's reach to 4.4m on last year, increasing its hours to 22.7m.

Dee Ford, group managing director, Radio, Bauer Media, said: “Bauer Radio has performed well this quarter, with positive quarterly increases across reach, hours and market share.

"The Place Portfolio continues to perform well, where it remains commercial number one in 20 out of 21 markets, whilst the Passion portfolio goes from strength-to-strength, with record-breaking results for Smash Hits and strong performances again from our powerful multi-platform brands Kiss and heat radio."

In Scotland, Bauer saw Forth One grow it's audience to reach 361,000 listeners for. On average 9.6m hours each week, rising by 5.5 per cent on last year, while Clyde 1 reached 528,000 listeners each week.

Graham Bryce, managing director of Bauer Radio Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to once again report a strong set of audience figures for Bauer Radio Scotland, as we deliver our programming to more than 41% of the population each week. Every one of our brands are number one in their marketplace, re-enforcing our view that local stations, delivering local content is the winning formula.

“In the highly competitive central belt marketplace, we are once again reaching more than 1million listeners every week, clearly defining Bauer as the leading commercial broadcaster and leaving the ‘quasi’ national and regionally formatted competition behind.

“We remain committed to bringing our local audiences across Scotland the most relevant showbiz, news and sport, travel and entertainment, along with more hit music than anyone else. Our stand-alone ability to reflect the lives of our listeners in each part of the country through tailored content, to connect more deeply at a local level, and engage our listeners with local personalities, allows us to bring the daily entertainment, news and music world to our listeners like no other broadcaster.

“We will continue to remain focused on listening to the local communities in and around our stations geographical areas to ensure we deliver the content they want, how they want it and when they want it.”

Meanwhile, departing BBC Radio 1 Breakfast DJ Christ Moyles saw his audience fall below 7m listeners to 6.93m. Six Music also experienced a dip of 5.7 per cent in listening.

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