Whilst Capital FM returns to London’s most listened to commercial station, new sister station Capital XTRA has shed almost half its listeners in London.
The station had 680,000 listeners a year ago when it was operating as Choice, but has reported a drop of 47.4% to 358,000 listeners today in London only. The station is now also available on national DAB and has a debut figure of 838,000.
Meanwhile, Global has recorded its highest ever group RAJAR, fuelled by the takeover of former GMG Radio stations. Stations previously known as Real Radio are now listed as Heart, but the Q2 figures only includes half of the quarter under the new brand.
So whilst it’s too early to tell what impact Heart has had, a quick look at the former Real Radio stations shows business as usual, except in Scotland where the regional station has dropped to an all time low of 421,000 compared to 488,000 a year ago. However, in South Wales and Yorkshire, the numbers are up 50,000 in three months at both stations.
The Smooth Radio brand, also on Communicorp owned stations, has reached a recent high in London, with 216,000 extra listeners taking reach from 565,000 to 781,000. In the North West, the station now has 1.1m listeners whilst the network has its highest ever at 4.6m.
XFM London has lost 33,000 listeners in London, but gained 65,000 in Manchester. In Scotland, XFM has 90,000 compared with Real XS on the same frequency which had 69,000 last survey.
But across the group, Global listeners now stand at 23.2m every week, its highest ever. Heart network total listening hours are up by 2.7m from 63.6m to 66.2m
Ashley Tabor, founder & executive president of Global, said: “It’s an immensely special day for the team at Global with our best RAJAR ever, leading the pack in the fiercely competitive London market with Capital, Heart and Smooth all enjoying phenomenal success. I’m very proud that Dave Berry & Lisa Snowdon continue to win at breakfast, and Capital London as a whole has added nearly 300,000 listeners, taking it clearly past all commercial competitors in the UK’s biggest market.
“Overall, Global’s brands are reaching more people than ever. A staggering 23.2 million people are listening each week in the UK – these figures reflect the hard work and dedication of every single person working at Global.”
Richard Park, group executive director and director of broadcasting at Global, said: “This is a great result for our brands. With an impressive new line up including Kate Garraway, Andrew Castle and Tina Hobley, Smooth has proved itself a force to be reckoned with, in London and across the network, enjoying significant growth in all regions. I’m also particularly proud of the stellar quarter enjoyed by Heart, with more of our audience listening for even longer on our largest brand.”