BBC Radio 5 Live has recorded its biggest ever audience in Q4/10, reaching more than 7million listeners for the first time.
It was another good quarter for the BBC networks, with annual growth at every single one of the corporation’s national analogue and digital services.
5 Live – the 2010 Sony-winning UK Station of the Year – saw its reach grow from 6.11m twelve months ago, to 7.09m in the period to 19th December. Its share of the UK radio audience is up to 5.3 percent from 4.5 last year and 4.7 last quarter. 5 Live Breakfast added more than 600,000 listeners over the year to post a reach of 3.17m. Digital service 5 Live Sports Extra put on more than 100,000 listeners this quarter too.
BBC Radio’s combined reach is now 34.51m – giving it a share of 55 percent of the UK population again after a slight dip in share last quarter.
Radio 1’s new audience total of 11.42m is down on the quarter but up on the year, although its share has dropped to 8.8 percent. The Chris Moyles Show is still gaining new listeners though – it now has 7.45m a week compared with 7.1m last quarter and 7.24m twelve months ago.
At Radio 2, it’s another massive reach of 13.94m. Not quite as big as the peak of Q1/10 when it hit 14.5m – but still up on last quarter’s 13.68m and the 13.47m it had in the last quarter of 2009. Chris Evans is up on both the quarter and the year – at 8.72m for breakfast.
Radio 3 built on its strong performance following the most successful ever BBC Proms, attracting a weekly audience of 2.22 million listeners – up from last year’s 1.87m and last quarter’s 2.15m. The network’s share is 1.2 percent – up from 1.1 last year and level with last quarter.
And Radio 4 is down on the quarter but up on the year – to a reach of 10.32m weekly. The Today programme drew 6.63 million listeners per week over this reporting period – up from 6.41m last year and 6.51m last quarter.
Tim Davie, Director BBC Audio & Music, said: “These figures show that listeners’ appetite for distinctive, high quality radio is as great as ever. They also mark a milestone for digital radio, with a quarter of all listening now taking place through a digital device. I’m delighted at Radio 5 live’s success – a tribute to its unparalleled commitment to high quality coverage of news and sport – while Radio 3’s sustained performance following the BBC Proms is also worth singling out for praise.”
In terms of digital-only services, 1Xtra has added almost 300,000 listeners in a year and is now at 816,000. BBC 6 Music dipped slightly but stayed above a million listeners, while Radio 7 continues to hover around the 1m mark – this time dropping to 941,000. The Asian Network’s weekly reach of 477,000 is up from 360k last year and 462k last quarter.