Whilst the BBC reach and share are at record levels, and Moyles achieves a record reach of seven million listeners, Commercial Radio is leading the way for digital listening. Together, radio listening in the UK remains stable at 45 million listeners, or 90% of the population.
Commercial Radio has seen a 2.5% increase in reach, year on year, with 31.2 million adults listening every week. This outstrips the 1.7% increase recorded across the industry as a whole.
National Commercial Radio records increases quarter on quarter, as well as year on year with 13.7 million adults (27% of the UK population) listening to one of these analogue or digital services every week — that’s the second highest reach for this group of stations.
BBC Radio’s reach of 33.46 million is up on both the year (32.57m) and the quarter (32.81m), while share of listening – at 56.0% – is also up from last year (55.4%) and last quarter (54.4%).
Four of the BBC’s five digital-only networks — 6 Music, 1Xtra, BBC 7 and Five Live Sports Extra — posted record reach, with digital networks (excluding World Service) contributing around three million listeners every week to the BBC’s reach.
Among younger listeners, Commercial Radio has seen reach increase by 6% among 15-24s, this despite the many and varied entertainment options they now have.
[link=http://www.radiotoday.co.uk/news.php?extend.1946]Digital listening[/link] via the internet, television and mobile phones are also up for both the BBC and Commercial sector.
Listening to downloaded podcasts also continues to grow. RAJAR research, this quarter, shows that 2.5 million adults (18% of mp3 player owners) now report that they have used their mp3 player to listen to downloaded podcasts. This is a significant rise from 2.1 million in Q4, 2006.
Andrew Harrison, CEO, RadioCentre said this morning: “It’s great to see radio listening as a whole remaining strong and we’re particularly delighted with Commercial Radio’s national performance which sees an increase in the number of listeners tuning in as well as time spent listening. With Commercial Radio taking the lion’s share of the ever increasing digital only hours, together with an increase in the number of 15-24 year olds tuning in, the future bodes well for our industry. RAJAR also report a 19% rise in the number of MP3 owners who listen to radio via podcast which is particularly pleasing for Commercial Radio having recently signed a ground breaking deal with music industry organisation PPL enabling 30 second clips of music to be used in station podcasts – a first for UK radio.”
Added Harrison, “One thing that today’s figures do show is that some of our small local stations are finding some of the market conditions challenging and we look forward to Ofcom’s Future of Radio consultation which we hope will give them more flexibility to compete effectively in the current multimedia environment.”
Jenny Abramsky, Director BBC Audio & Music, said: “The radio industry is in excellent health, as demonstrated by the strong performance of both BBC and commercial radio. It is particularly pleasing to see the continued growth of listening via DAB and digital platforms and the record audiences for a number of our digital stations.”
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