BBC digital radio stations 6 Music and 1Xtra – which celebrate their 10th birthdays this year – have posted record audience sizes in the Q4/11 RAJAR figures.
Radio 4 added half a million listeners over the year, while Chris Moyles’ Radio 1 breakfast show has lost audience compared with this time last year.
6 Music’s audience has hit 1.44m (up 27% on Q4/10) while 1Xtra has gone to just over a million listeners for the first time ever. Radio 4 Extra, meanwhile, saw a slight increase on the quarter to 1.554m – but 5 live Sports Extra’s audience size dropped by almost 50% after a record high last quarter because of summer sports coverage.
The Today programme’s 7.15m weekly audience is up on the year and the quarter, while Chris Moyles’ 7.24m is up on the quarter but down on the year. At Radio 2, Chris Evans posts a figure of 8.86m which is unchanged compared with Q4/10.
Radio 3’s breakfast changes have been controversial, but appear to be working as the station’s morning show added 149,000 listeners this quarter to hit a weekly reach of 703,000 (up from 613k in Q4/10). 5 live breakfast is down more than 650,000 year on year though – to 2.512m.
In London, 5 live saw it’s overall reach drop by around 500,000 (29%) in a year – to 1.2m. In the quarter when the station moved north to Salford, its audience in the capital is down by around 100,000 listeners (7% of the station’s London audience).
Overall BBC Radio’s share of listening remains constant at 55.5%, reaching an increased 34.94m weekly listeners.
Tim Davie, Director BBC Audio & Music, said: “Radio is in rude health and these figures illustrate the value listeners place on high quality broadcasting. Radio 4 goes from strength to strength and proves once again that distinctive, intelligent output and broad appeal are not mutually exclusive. 6 Music and 1Xtra are unique stations which are establishing loyal and ever-growing audiences. Their record listening figures are a fitting tribute as they celebrate10 years on air.”
Across BBC Local Radio’s 40 stations in England – which have been subject of much discussion over the last few months because of proposed budget cuts – figures have remained fairly constant. Combined reach of 7.295m is up on the quarter by 45,000 listeners but down from 7.428m in Q4/10. Its 70.3m listening hours, however, have helped increase market share to 8.4% in Q4/11 – compared with 8.2% a year ago and 7.9% last quarter.
David Holdsworth, Controller of BBC English Regions said: “These figures show that BBC Local Radio has consolidated recent gains and is on track to develop further growth in the long term.”
Around the network stations (information from BBC Audio & Music):
Radio 1 attracted 11.67 million listeners aged 15+ during the period (compared to 11.42m last year and 11.85m last quarter) and including all listeners aged 10+, this figure rises to 12.66 million (compared to 12.61m last year and 12.75m last quarter) Its share is 8.5%, from 8.8% last year and 9.1% last quarter. The Chris Moyles Show now has 7.24 million listeners every week – from 7.16m last quarter and 7.45m last year. Including 10+ listeners, this total increases to 7.77m.
Radio 2 has 14.27 million listeners – from last year’s 13.94m and last quarter’s 14.31m. It has a share of 16.3% compared to 16.2% last year and 15.9% last quarter. The Chris Evans Breakfast Show attracted 8.86 million listeners every week, from 8.72m last year and 8.86m last quarter.
Radio 3 has a weekly audience of 2.10 million listeners – compared to 2.05m last quarter and 2.22m last year. The network’s share is 1.3%, up from 1.1% last quarter and 1.2% last year.
BBC Radio 5 live posted a combined reach with sister station 5 live sports extra of 6.34 million listeners, from 6.43m last quarter and 7.21m last year. Share for Radio 5 live (inc. sports extra) is 4.4% (4.6% last quarter and 5.5% last year).
The BBC Asian Network’s weekly reach was 472,000, from 477,000 last year and 507,000 last quarter.
BBC World Service posted a UK reach of 1.39 million – from 1.46m last year and 1.50m last quarter.
The combined figure for Local Radio and National stations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is now at 9.60million listeners per week – from 9.50 last quarter and 9.84 last year.