GWR Group has announced significant audience increases in its flagship national station, Classic FM. In RAJAR Quarter 1 2004 figures released today, Classic FM increased its weekly audience by 334,000 to 6.54 million (Q4 2003: 6.21 million). The station's overall market share improved from 4.3% in Q4 2003 to 4.5% in Q1 2004, and its national share of commercial listening rose from 9.5% to 10%.
In London, Classic FM?s audience reach has overtaken Kiss FM and Magic in the last quarter to become the capital?s third most listened to commercial station, with only Capital FM and Heart FM reaching more listeners. Market share is up from 4.7% last quarter to 5.4%, and commercial listening share in London is up from 8.9% to 9.7%.
The increase in listening is driven by an influx of younger listeners. In the three months Classic FM added 202,000 listeners under the age of 35, bringing the total number in this section of the audience to 1.5 million.
GWR?s Local Radio Group (LRG) stations have held up well in increasingly competitive local markets. The combined breakfast show audience is up 3.9%, and a number of stations have recorded increases in listening hours. Beacon FM in Wolverhampton is up 10.1%, Hereward FM in Peterborough is up 7.9%, Chiltern FM in Luton is up 6.5%, 2CR in Bournemouth up 7.3%, Mercury FM in Sussex rose by 6.9% and Leicester Sound is up 3.2%. Overall, LRG?s local stations (branded as The Mix Network) have recorded a market share of 14% (Q4 2003: 14.5%).
Roger Lewis, Managing Director and Programme Controller of Classic FM, commented:
?The industry focus has been on the battle for the top slot in London but Classic FM has leapt two places in the ranking in the last three months and is a real contender for the capital?s advertising spending. The swing towards younger listeners also proves that Classic FM?s programming mix is appealing to a new audience.?