Two of the three national analogue stations are reporting a drop in listeners this quarter, with only Classic FM adding listeners to match its year on year figures.
Classic FM has added 370,000 listeners in the last three months of 2014, but remains steady year-on-year with 5.6m listeners. The main Absolute Radio service drops from 1.872 million to 1.708 and talkSPORT is down this quarter from 3.148m listeners to 3.005m.
Global’s brands are continuing to perform for the group, with Heart, Capital, Classic and Smooth remaining the most popular commercial networks.
The Heart network has less listeners than last quarter but stays steady with over nine million listeners. In London the station has its biggest hours in recent times after recovering from a major drop last quarter but goes to 5th place in terms of reach. In the regions, seven stations went down, two stayed the same and nine increased listeners, including Scotland, North East, North West, Yorkshire and West Midlands.
The Capital Network has also lost reach quarter-on-quarter, and goes behind KISS in London, but keeps the number 1 breakfast show on commercial radio in London with Dave and Lisa. At the stations, five* Capitals lost listeners (London, NE, North West & Wales, Scotland, South Coast), one stayed the same (South Wales) and four (EM, Birmingham, Manchester, Yorkshire) went up. (*correction – we previously said six were down)
It’s good news at Smooth as the London station is up on all measures and now has 760,000 listeners, from 742,000 in the last quarter. This time last year it had 441,000 listeners in London. Nationally, Smooth has 4.8m listeners with 2m of those on digital.
LBC is up this quarter, 1.3m reach nationwide and back up over a million in London. In contrast, LBC News 1152 dropped 80,000 listeners to 254,000 in the last three months.
Capital XTRA has achieved an increase in London, now with 411,000 listeners compared with 323,000 last quarter. The national audience stays the same at 809,000 weekly reach.
The XFM Network is down this quarter from 988,000 to 941,000 weekly reach but is up year-on-year. London had an small increase but Manchester went from 298,000 listeners to 222,000 in the last three months.
Finally, Gold London, East Midlands and Manchester has lost listeners on mediumwave.
Ashley Tabor, founder & executive president of Global, said: “I’m so proud that the Capital Breakfast Show with Dave & Lisa remains no. 1 in London with the most listeners – leading breakfast in the hugely competitive London market is a big achievement. I’m delighted that with Heart, Capital, Classic FM and Smooth we have the four most popular commercial radio networks across the country. This is testament to all the hard work of everyone at Global.”
Richard Park, group executive director and director of broadcasting at Global, said: “This is a great result for Global with Heart cementing its position as the most popular radio brand across the country and Smooth recording its highest ever numbers with gains in all measures. We have a stellar line up of presenters at Global and it’s good to see them proving so popular with our listeners. With new shows from Katherine Jenkins and Alexander Armstrong, Classic FM enjoyed a hugely successful quarter with its audience now at 5.6 million.”