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Commercial share drops again

The commercial radio industry lost nearly seven million listening hours putting commercial radio's share at just 41 per cent.

However the industry added an extra 300 thousand listeners in the last three months, taking the total to 31 million adults.

National stations Classic FM and talkSPORT all gained a small amount of extra listeners, but Virgin took a slight total drop of 0.2 per cent

Local commercial radio also contributed to the overall quarterly increase adding almost a quarter of a million listeners from this time three months ago. 24.8 million people tune into a local commercial radio service every week – that’s almost half of the adult population. Commercial radio takes a 75 per cent share of all local listening in the UK.

Digitally, commercial radio services continue to prove popular with UK listeners as many digital stations post an increase period on period. The third set of platform data reveals that 18.4 per cent of listening is to one of the three digital platforms, outperforming the 17.8 per cent industry average.

DAB continues to lead the digital charge recording over double the share of the next ranked platform. Looking at the reach of these platforms, 19.5 per cent of all adults listen to a commercial radio service every week via a digital platform with over 10 per cent of listening to a commercial service every week via DAB.

Andrew Harrison, chief executive officer of the RadioCentre said: “It is encouraging to see that radio continues to play such a major role in people’s busy lives and is demonstrating long term growth. We are delighted with very strong reach figures which show commercial radio continues its appeal to a wide range of audiences. Our market share figures are disappointing, reflecting the real challenge for over regulated local commercial radio formats to compete against strong national talent.

"2008 will be a defining year for commercial radio with Channel 4 coming into the market, new investment for the sector and we also await a positive outcome from the Digital Radio Working Group.”

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