Our regular roundup looks at the winners and losers around the radio industry for Q3, 2014 RAJAR.
Starting with UTV, and talkSPORT is down this quarter but up year-on-year with 3.15m listeners. Breakfast with Alan Brazil gets its highest ever audience with 1.5m weekly reach and all weekday daytime shows are over 1m.
Calum Macaulay, talkSPORT Managing Director said: “Alan Brazil is one of the best presenters in UK radio, and these record figures demonstrate his quality. I’m delighted that seven days a week our breakfast programming is reaching more and more sports fans and our other key shows are all over a million listeners making this our biggest ever Q3. Our digital platforms are key to the business, and with the record figures for talkSPORT.com we look forward to growing audience and revenues in this area.”
At UTV local stations, Signal 107 increased their weekly reach by over 90% to 46k and total hours by over 116% to 555k. Bradford based stations Pulse 1 and Pulse 2 recorded a combined increase of 18% in listeners from Q2 and a combined 11% rise in hours. The stations recently moved to new state of the art studios which were specially built for the move.
Wire FM has gained both hours and listeners with 6% more listeners and a 51% growth in hours from Q2. Wish FM lost listeners, taking it to a recent low – dropping from 72,000 a year ago to 56,000 this quarter and a 40% reduction in hours.
In Wales, Swansea Sound has had an 11% increase in its number of listeners and a 3% increase in hours quarter on quarter.
Signal 1 in Stoke had a 12% increase in hours from the previous quarter and a 16% increase year on year.
And Liverpool station Juice FM has posted a 3% increase in reach and a 23% increase in hours from the same period the previous year.
Iain Fowler, Director of Local Radio for UTV Media (GB), said: “These results show the fantastic work of our teams across our stations. Our investment in the best talent is paying off and these figures show the importance of local radio to its listeners. Our stations are at the heart of their communities and will continue to bring the very best local news and entertainment, as well as top class music to listeners.”
The bigger Bauer local stations took some hits this time as they plan their makeover to the “Place 1 Network” in the New Year.
Clyde 1 lost 37k listeners taking it down to 496k and over 21.4% of its listening hours to just over 3.5 million. Forth One also lost reach and hours, whilst Metro put on 10k listeners taking it to 446k but lost just under 24.5% of its listener hours taking it to 2.5 million.
Key 103 lost 51k listeners taking it to 507k and just under 14% of total hours taking it to just over 3 million, and in Liverpool Radio City 96.7 lost 39k listeners taking it to 400k but pretty much held its listener hours at just over 3.2 million.
TFM Radio, now fully shared with Metro, has increased audience once again, going up from 154k to 163k.
Elsewhere Tay FM, Northsound and MFR are all down on both reach and total hours with Hallam FM and Westsound up on both measures.
The soon to be rebranded Magic AM stations did well, with all except Sheffield and Teesside gaining listeners.
Across BBC local radio, BBC London 94.9 loses 110k listeners taking it down to 462k and just under 27% of its total hours. BBC Radio WM loses 45k listeners taking it down to 195k and over 16% of its total hours and Radio Cambridgeshire stays pretty much steady on reach but loses just under 35% of its total hours.
Radio Lincolnshire lifts its average weekly hours figure by another 2.1 hours per week taking it to the highest in the UK at 16.6, with Island FM 104.7 in 2nd place at 15.4, BBC Radio Merseyside in third place at 15.2 up from 11.5 and Premier Christian Radio in fourth place at 14.4.
Whilst Heart London lost 400,000 listeners this quarter, the new regional stations did well after transforming from Real.
Heart Scotland adds 59k listeners taking it to 480k each week with a 7.5% increase in total hours to over 3 million. In South Wales, the staton was up by 47k listeners to 529k with total hours up 4.5% to over 4.7 million and in North Wales, they added 15k listeners to 72k with total hours up over 50.5% to 423k.
Heart Yorkshire picked up 77k new listeners taking it to 447k with a 27.2% increase in total hours to over 4.2 million. In the North West they’re up 34k listeners to 565k with total hours up over 31.7% taking the station over 5 million and in the North East they’re up 70k listeners to 313k with total hours up by an amazing 43.9% taking the station over 2.2 million hours.
However its been mixed fortunes for the original Heart stations with East Anglia, West Country and Sussex all celebrating being up on both reach and total hours. The Heart stations in Cambridgeshire, Cornwall, Kent, West Midlands, Thames Valley, London and Essex were all down on reach and total hours with Heart London in particular having a very poor survey with weekly reach down 389k to 1,448k and total hours down over 31.1% to just under 8 million.
There were also mixed fortunes across the Capital stations with Capital Manchester and Capital North West and Wales (formerly Heart) down on reach and total hours. Only one Capital station increased on both measures, that was Capital Cardiff who saw an extra 24k listeners taking them to 208k plus an increase in total hours of over 28% to 1,258k.
Gem 106, the home of award winning breakfast duo Sam & Amy, is the most listened to commercial station for the East Midlands with total listening growing by 16% in the last three months. The number of listeners also grew by 5% over the same period with 461,000 people tuning in each week***.
Phil Riley, CEO of Orion Media said: “In an ever-changing landscape, we’re pleased with how our listeners are proving even more loyal and engaged, whether measured by these figures or by the sheer volume of positive responses we get from Midlands listeners.”
JACK 2, which launched last August, has jumped from 31,000 weekly listeners to 41,000. It’s the highest ever listening figure for the frequency since it started. JACKfm General Manager Ian Walker said: “JACK 2 has had a sensational result this quarter, hence the champagne corks popping.” Although JACK fm Oxfordshire now has 16,000 listeners less than it did a year ago.
JACK fm Swindon is continuing to rise, jumping up to 20% and its biggest ever audience on that frequency, as does Silk 106.9 with a record 29% reach in Cheshire.
Kingdom FM appears to be on a downward trend – now on a low 20% reach compared with 29% a couple of years ago and Lincs FM Group station Rother FM has lost a third of its listeners in the last year – down to 30,000 from 45,000 in Q3, 2013.
kmfm East recorded a good book with almost double its listener hours and an increase in weekly reach too. Now more than 185,000 adults listen every week – an increase of almost 15,000 from the last quarter, and nearly 19% up on this time last year.
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