Round-up of RAJAR figures for Q1, 2013

The headlines from the latest audience figures include a record reach for Radio 2 and a significant drop from Radio 1.

Nationally, Absolute Radio attracts 1.7 million listeners, down nearly 5% on the previous quarter and down slightly on 12 months ago. However, the total network has seen overall listening hours reach a record level at over 25m.

classicfmClassic FM has increased its reach, share and hours both quarter on quarter and year on year but not as good news for talkSPORT which slips below the 3 million weeky listeners mark.

Bauer has done well in the national marketplace with its Passion Portfolio, recording its highest-ever reach of 6.7m adults each week. It has also gained its highest ever share and highest ever total hours.

Nationally, Kiss is listened to by over 4.1m adults each week and Planet Rock went up too.

In Scotland, the significant changes are for Northsound Two which has increased its audience by 40% in the last 12 months and Clyde 1 has added 84,000 listeners in the same period (although lost 23,000 this quarter).

Forth One adds over a million listening hours since this time three months ago, recording a 10-year high for the station.

MFR and Radio Borders are two of the best performing stations on the UK mainland. MFR the number one for percentage reach with 47% and Radio Borders number one for market share with 31.4%.

Graham Bryce, Managing Director of Bauer Media Scotland: “Once more we are proud to stand out as the number one radio broadcaster in Scotland with the most listened to stations in every market.”

It’s not so good news for Real Radio though, which now has 472,000 listeners today compared with 650,000 a year ago. The station peaked at over 800,000 in 2007 but has been on a downward trend since.

In the North of England, it’s Real Radio which again takes the headlines with Real North West, Real Yorkshire and Real North East all losing listeners. In the North West, Real has dropped to 361,000 – and at 7% weekly reach is less than the first figures published for the station in 1999 (as Century 105).

However, smaller sister station Real Radio XS continues to grow with an extra 48,000 listeners this year taking it to 170,000.

Scarborough based Yorkshire Coast Radio has recorded its highest weekly reach since June 2008.

Data released today by RAJAR shows a whopping 40% of the area’s population now tune in to Yorkshire Coast Radio every week, up from 36% in Q4 2012.

Chris Sigsworth, Managing Director says “We are delighted with these figures. As a UKRD Group station, we believe in producing proper local radio, and this set of figures proves that there is a big demand for great sounding radio made for, and in, a station’s TSA”.

For the Bauer stations, TFM Radio’s last results with local programmes saw the station lose listeners – from 202,000 to 169,000 year on year.

Metro Radio, CFM, Radio Aire and Viking FM are up whilst City Talk, Radio City, Key 103, Rock FM and Hallam FM are down in listeners since this time last year.

Most of the Magic AM stations are also down year on year – with just Leeds and Sheffield showing any signs of growth.

Dee 106.3, Silk 106.9, Revolution Radio all on the up, with UKRD’s The Bee seeing a significant increase year on year.

Global Radio’s Xfm Manchester has added 53,000 listeners year on year and Capital Manchester is also up. Capital Yorkshire has reached a new high with 1.128m listeners and Capital North East has hit the half-a-million mark.

UTV stations Wire FM, Wish FM, Tower FM, The Pulse, and Radio Wave have all lost listeners whilst Juice sees and increase since this time last year.

In the Midlands, Free Radio on FM in the West Midlands is down from 801,000 listeners a year ago to 622,000 today. Gem 106 has increased audience from 380,000 to 441 in the same period.

However, this quarter, Orion’s Midlands FM stations have seen a combined growth of 11%, to which Chief Executive Phil Riley said “We’ve had a great week. The latest figures plus our success at the Sonys represents all the hard work and talent that goes into building our radio brands.”

JACK fm Oxfordshire is up from 57,000 listeners to 77,000 year on year, and Celador’s JACK in Bristol and Southampton are also on the increase.

In Wales, Town and Country Broadcasting are celebrating over 300,000 listeners across their portfolio of seven commercial radio stations. Radio Ceredigion’s audience has almost doubled over the past year.

At BBC local radio, overall reach in England came in at 7.1m, up on last quarter’s 6.9m but down compared to last year’s 7.6m.

Mark Forrest’s new networked evening show has 1.60m listeners for the first three months of 2013, giving the network the highest reach and share in a year.

Market share, at 8.3%, has increased this quarter, compared to 7.5% last quarter but is down on last year’s 9% and the average hours listened per listener a week came in at 9.79 compared to 9.1 last quarter.

Significant changes at the stations include BBC Oxford gaining a 10% audience share and highest hours, and BBC Radio Cumbria enjoying 33% weekly reach for the first time since 2011.

BBC Radio Derby has taken a hit, with a drop from 29% reach to 22% year on year and total hours falling below 10million – half what it was a year ago.

David Holdsworth, Controller, English Regions, said: “It’s been a tough year for BBC Local Radio in England but despite this figures for this quarter have increased. The challenge now is to continue this trend and achieve further growth in the long term.

“I believe we can succeed by continuing to provide quality local public service broadcasting much valued by our listeners.”

Celador Radio’s two largest Breeze stations have posted their best ever listening figures. In the first quarter of 2013, The Breeze South covering Southampton, Portsmouth, Winchester, Newbury and Andover has doubled it’s audience over the past 12 months and now has a 7% weekly reach.

In the South West, The Breeze for Bristol, Bath and Frome & West Wiltshire has more than doubled its audience in the year, and seen a more than fourfold increase in listening hours to over half a million.

Elsewhere in the group Jack Bristol saw it’s highest audience yet, with 125,000 listeners tuning in each week.

The Vodafone Big Top 40 is now listened to by over 2.2 million people each week – over 1 million more listeners than the Radio 1 Chart Show. Richard Park is pleased: “I am delighted that the Big Top 40 remains the country’s favourite chart show, proving that the real time chart show element is still most popular amongst listeners”.

Posted on Thursday, May 16th, 2013 at 12:50 am by RadioToday UK

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