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Radio RAJAR Media

90% of Brits still tune into radio each week


By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

February 8, 2018 | 3 min read

The UK radio market holds steady, recent statistics from Rajar found that some form of radio reaches nine out of 10 members of the public each week.


Nick Grimshaw's Radio One sees an upsurge / BBC RADIO 1

The numbers come from Rajar (Radio Joint Audience Research), the body jointly owned by the BBC and Radiocenter, the industry body for commercial radio.

According to the research, 89.7% of the UK’s 54.4m adults over the age of 15 tune in to the radio each week, clocking up an average of 21.3 hours a week, down half a percentage point on 2016. While on the surface these numbers seem remarkably high, it goes to show how much radio the UK pubic still consumes.

Just last year, Nick Grimshaw remarked on how it hit its lowest ever audience in 2017, ever audience since the Rajar started collected in 1992. He said: "It is still the number one breakfast show for young people. But they don’t consume as much traditional radio as they used do.”

This year its reach is up to 9.8m each week.

On the whole, BBC Radio reaches 35m weekly listeners, down just shy of a percent on the previous year. Local radio comprises 8.3m of the population. In a year this is down from 8.9m.

On the whole, the BBC boasts a 52.8% share of radio audiences. On the other side of the fence, commercial radio makes up 35m of listeners, this rose by 1%. It was up 5% in those over 45.

Digital radio was on the rise too, up from 45.2% at the end of 2016 to 49.9% a year later. AM and FM accounted for 50.1% whereas digital was split with DAB at 36.3%, digital TV at 5.1% and online and apps at 8.5%.

Furthermore, DAB radio ownership has been steadily on the rise, tiptoeing up from 35.8% in 2010 to 62.3% of respondents.

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