Whilst BBC Local Radio has suffered a collective blow this quarter, some commercial radio stations across the UK are celebrating.
Stations such as Tindle Radio’s Norwich 99.9FM and UKRD’s Wessex FM reports highest ever reach, hours and share.
Overall reach for BBC Local Radio in England came in at 6.8million – a reduction compared to last year at 7.2m. Market share also showed an overall reduction at 7.7% (compared to 8.1% last year and 9% last quarter) and the average hours listened per listener per week were 9.5, compared to 9.76 last year and 10.3 last quarter.
David Holdsworth, Controller, English Regions, said, “The figures for this quarter are disappointing but come after several quarters of significant growth. We’re under no illusions that we continue to operate in a very tough market but I remain confident that we’re on track to develop growth long term.”
Some BBC stations reported a slight increase though, such as BBC Radio Gloucestershire, BBC Radio Lincolnshire and BBC Radio Northampton.
At Tindle Radio, 370,000 listeners tune in each week, a 3% increase on the previous quarter. 57,000 adults listen to Norwich 99.9FM per week with hours up 28% year on year, whilst Ipswich based Town 102 reports a weekly reach of 59,400.
Channel 103 celebrates it’s 20th birthday with the station’s highest ever reach and share. 57% of Jersey tunes in each week and Island FM (Guernsey) sees reach increase from 26,100 to 29,800 (49% to 55%) on the previous quarter.
Group Programme Director Tom Kay said: “Strong, steady audience growth, for over three years now at Tindle, goes to shows that commercial radio, if engaging, personality-led and in tune with listeners lives, remains as popular as ever”.
At UKRD, the total hours are up by almost 15% across the group. Eagle, Spirit, Wessex, Stray showed strong gains but Minster, Spire and Sun see a drop in numbers. Sun FM however maintains its number 1 position against all BBC and commercial stations in Sunderland. Group CE William Rogers: “These results are terrific not only for UKRD as a group but for the principle of genuinely local radio. Our station teams have delivered strong growth yet again and proved once more that there is nothing wrong with the genuinely local radio model when a committed team delivers it in a polished and professional way.”
106 JACK fm Oxfordshire has recorded a 42% increase in listening hours this quarter giving it its highest since the station launched in October 2007, and JACK fm South Coast keeps climbing since re-branding from The Coast.
Nation Radio in Wales has added 85% to its overall listening hours and added almost 20% more listeners to its audience in the last 12 months. Mark Franklin, Presenter and Programme Director said ‘We’ve worked hard to establish Nation Radio in Cardiff, Newport and Swansea, some of the most competitive markets in the UK. It’s great to see all this hard work pay off.