While commercial radio had shown signs of clawing back listening from the dominant BBC, the latest figures show the sector has slipped back again in the last quarter. All commercial radio now accounts 42.4% of total listening, 13% behind the BBC.
Across all stations, commercial radio has lost 10.1 million hours of listening in the past three months.
However the industry maintained its majority share in the 15-44 year old market with 53.1% of all listening while share among the younger 15-24 audience now stands at 59.5%. The older 40-59 audience are also keen commercial listeners with 70% tuning in every week.
Digitally, 18.1% of all listening to commercial radio is via a digital platform, outperforming the 16.6% industry average.
Andrew Harrison, chief executive of RadioCentre said: “Radio continues to play an important role in people’s busy lives and it is really heartening to see an increase in the number of listeners tuning in to digital services with Commercial Radio leading the way in this area."
"Our national stations continue to perform well and whilst local Commercial Radio overall hasn’t had its best quarter we look forward to Ofcom’s final Future of Radio report which we hope will confirm some relaxation of programming regulations for these stations”.