Today (Thursday 5 February) saw the release of the latest round of Rajar listening figures covering the last three months of 2014. Here we round up the need to know stats from the UK’s biggest radio networks.
Global Radio stations performed strongly in the latest round of Rajar figures with the Heart network remaining the UK’s top commercial radio network.
The Q4 2014 figures show that Heart London’s listeners increased from 1.5 million to 1.8 million with overall share jumping to 6.3 per cent, up from 3.9 per cent last quarter.
Classic FM, which added news shows from Katherine Jenkins and Alexander Armstrong, reached 370,000 more listeners in the last three months of 2014 and Smooth grew in reach, share and hours, with 4.8 million listeners, Smooth London also recorded greater reach, share and hours.
Bauer Media’s Kiss toppled Global’s Capital to become the number one commercial station in London for the first time as Capital lost 13.3 per cent of its audience year-on-year. Sister station Capital Xtra also fell 12.6 per cent.
Ashley Tabor, founder and executive president of Global, said he was “delighted” to have the “four most popular commercial radio networks across the country”.
“This is a testament to all the hard work of everyone at Global,” he added.
Richard Park, group executive director and director of broadcasting at Global, commented: “This is a great result for Global…We have a stellar line up of presenters at Global and it’s good to see them proving so popular with our listeners.”
Bauer stations (including Orion) recorded 17 million listeners in Q4 2014 and the Bauer City Network reached 7.2 million listners, up 9.1 per cent year-on-year.
In addition to clinching the top spot in London Bauer Media’s Kiss brand – Kiss, Kisstory and Kiss Fresh – reached 4.9 million listeners across the UK and 1.9 million in London. The Kiss brand generated 27.7 million hours across all three stations.
Digital-only stations Absolute Radio 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s performed well with Absolute 80s holding firm as the number one digital-only station with 1.4 million listeners. Listening hours for the Absolute Radio brand were up 14.5 per cent year-on-year posting 27.2 million listening hours.
Dee Ford, group managing director, Bauer Media, put the figures down to “distinctive station formats”.
“Our Kiss brand is storming ahead in London, our digital-only brands underline our commitment to digital radio and that we are a strong bigger for the second National digital multiplex.”
BBC Radio 6 Music hit the two million weekly listeners make five years after it was saved from closure.
The station, which hosts shows from Lauren Laverne, Guy Garvey and Mark Radcliffe, posted an average weekly reach of 2.1 million listeners. Radio 4 Extra hit a new high of 1.7 million listeners but sport and news station Radio 5 didn’t fare so well losing 700,000 listeners year-on-year.
Radio 2 remained the UK’s favourite station reaching 15.3 million listeners, decreasing from a high of 15.5 million last year. Around 500,000 listeners were lost from Radio 1 with the flagship breakfast show hosted by Nick Grimshaw attracting 5.9 million listeners.
Local and regional BBC stations weekly reach was recorded at just fewer than nine million listeners.
Bob Shennan, controller of Radio 2 and 6 Music, called the figures a “landmark moment” revealing that 6 Music was now aiming for 2.5 million listeners.
He added: “It’s not going to be a mass mainstream station like Radio 1 or Radio 2 but the vast majority of the adult population still don’t know about 6 Music. We will continue to look upwards to the next landmark.”