GMG: Smooth Radio overtakes talkSPORT
With 3.328m weekly listeners, Smooth Radio now has a bigger reach across the UK than nationalstation talkSPORT.
The station’s reach is up nine percent (275,000 listeners) in the last year, while sister network Real Radio has also posted a record audience size.
Total hours at Smooth – which has five regional FM licences in England and a local one in Scotland as well as appearing on the Digital One DAB multiplex – are up 3.5m in a year to 27.052m which its national share of the audience is 2.5%.
In London, the station posted a 25% increase quarter on quarter to 612,000 – an audience in the capital that’s now bigger than both XFM and Choice. Simon Bates’ breakfast show in London has seen its audience rise to 249,000 in Q3/11 (up from 222,000 last year and 170,000 last quarter) – putting the show ahead of XFM, Gold and BBC London.
Overall,’s audience size is up 9.5% in a year to 5.685m, with just under 50 million listening hours also a record for the group.
Combined reach for the Real Radio stations – which cover Wales, Scotland, Yorkshire, the North West and North East – is up 10% from Q3/10 to 2.607m
In Yorkshire, there’s a five-year high for both reach (371,000) and total hours (3.56m). In the North West, Real posts its highest reach (587,000) since the station re-branded from Century two years ago. And in the North East, Real is up 22k year on year to 323,000, although this is a drop from last quarter’s post-rebrand high of 369k.
In Wales, after debuting at a combined nationwide reach of 471,000 last quarter, Real has added listeners in both the South and the North regions to give a new reach of 495,000 – which GMG point out is higher than BBC Radio Wales’ audience of 479,000.
In Scotland the Real brand has lost 22k this quarter to post a new reach of 626,000. That compares with a weekly audience of 665,000 a year ago.
Both former Rock Radio stations – in Manchester and Glasgow – which have now been rebranded to Real Radio XS saw year-on-year increases in reach but slight drops for this quarter compared with Q2.
(C) RadioToday Chief Executive Stuart Taylor said: “With the ever increasing pull on people’s time I’m really pleased that a record number are choosing to tune into both Smooth and Real. The GMG Radio stations are now attracting more listening time than ever before. Smooth’s transformation to a national station has proven a huge success and I have no doubt there is more growth to come.”