RAJAR Q2 2016: London, national and brands

All eyes are on the new stations broadcasting on the SDL digital multiplex, and today we have the first figures from RAJAR.

talkRADIO – the station which no doubt costs the most to run of the new services, comes out with the least listeners at 224,000, followed by talkSPORT2 with 285,000. However, Virgin Radio gets an impressive first book with 409,000 listeners.

Mellow Magic debuts with 380,000 weekly listeners, whilst Magic Chilled pulls in 233,000.

The second national DAB commercial network launched in March, and alongside strong in-car listening growth, has taken digital radio listening to a new high of 45.3%.

The annual growth to 45.3% from 39.9% in Q2 2015 of 5.4 percentage points represents the highest-ever percentage point growth in digital listening since records began. DAB has grown its share of listening to 32.2% to now account for over 71% of total digital listening.

Scroll down to find out how Radio X and Chris Moyles have done, and who is the biggest station in London via Share for the first time.

Here are some of the first observations:

Wireless Group

Virgin Radio launches on 409,000 listeners and Edith’s breakfast show has drawn in more than 200,000 weekly listeners. The last time Virgin Radio was in the UK it had 2.3m before it rebranded to Absolute Radio.

talkSPORT2 launches with 285,000 listeners.

talkRADIO has 224,000 listeners but total hours of 840,000 each week. For info, before talkSPORT replaced the original Talk Radio, it had 2.3m listeners.

talkSPORT posts the second highest result that the station has ever had – 3.3m weekly listeners.

Scott Taunton, Chief Operating Officer for Wireless Group plc, said: “In what has been an exceptionally busy period for us with the launch of three new national radio stations and a summer of football including the European Championships, we are delighted to have delivered audience growth for talkSPORT and to see our efforts rewarded following the launch of talkSPORT 2, talkRADIO and Virgin Radio.”

“The return of the iconic Virgin Radio brand has seen a particularly impressive result with 409,000 listeners tuning in each week, which is very encouraging for such early days.”

“Wireless Group’s national portfolio now reaches more than 3.8million people every single week. We will continue to invest in talent and content for our stations, ensuring that we remain a popular choice for both new and existing listeners.”


Chris Moyles has 82,000 fewer listeners than he did three months ago nationally at breakfast, with his weekly reach down from 776,000 to 694,000. The national station has also lost 51,000 listeners quarter on quarter taking it down to 1.18m weekly reach, but is a 33% increase compared with 12 months ago.

LBC is the number one commercial station in London on Share – with 6.6%. Global is 2nd and 3rd place in Share too with Capital (4.6%) and Heart (3.9%).

In terms of commercial radio Reach in London, Capital stays on top followed by Kiss, Heart and Magic.

Capital XTRA has smashed its own records with another strong quarter reaching 1.3m listeners every week (up 371,000 listeners in one year) across the UK.

Classic FM has added more listeners this quarter – now standing at 5.5m weekly.

Nick Ferrari now reaches 977,000 listeners – the highest number since he started on LBC Breakfast just over a decade ago.

Chill’s first results gives the digital station 135,000 listeners whilst The Arrow has 56,000.

Ashley Tabor, founder & executive president of Global, said: “We continue to storm ahead of the competition with 24.3m people tuning into Global brands every week – a new record for Global. I couldn’t be prouder that Capital is now reaching a record 8.5 million listeners every week, leading the commercial sector in London, and leading in the fiercely competitive breakfast market. A triple win. I’m also very proud of LBC’s highest ever numbers, a testament to the team’s hard work over a busy news period. I’m delighted for every Globaller today.”


Mellow Magic debuts on the national SDL mux with 380,000 weekly listeners, whilst Magic Chilled pulls in 233,000.

KISS is still growing – it now has 5.5m listeners across the UK, up half a million in a year.

The Rickie, Melvin and Charlie Breakfast Show on KISS is the biggest national commercial breakfast show with 2.1m listeners.

Absolute 80s is down this quarter, after moving from D1 to D2, reducing its DAB coverage. It now has 1.581m compared to 1.72 in Q1. It remains the biggest commercial DAB station.

Planet Rock is also down to under a million listeners for the first time in three years. Last quarter it had 1.265m and now has 986k.

Magic London breakfast is down from 922,000 last year to 691,000 now.

Dee Ford, Group Managing Director Radio, Bauer Media, said: “We’re celebrating yet another highest-ever reach this quarter for Bauer, with growth across both our national and local radio brands. Digital radio listening continues to grow at a pace and we’re delighted to continue to lead the field in digital listening, with more than 55% of listening to Bauer radio stations being delivered via a digital device. Bauer is Europe’s biggest commercial radio operator and today’s audience results reaffirm the strength of that position.”


BBC Radio 4 continues to rule Share in the capital overall with 14.5%.

Radio 1 is staying under 10 million listeners albeit with a slight increase this quarter. It has 9.455m – its lowest reach since 2003, and down almost a million since Q2, 2015. Ben Cooper, Controller Radio 1 & 1Xtra, said: ““RAJARs are only part of the picture for Radio 1, and our listeners should be seen alongside increases on our YouTube channel as it goes past 1 billion views and our growing social media platforms with over 8.5 million users. To focus solely on RAJARs is similar to looking at how many newspapers have been sold without looking at their online presence or national influence.”

5 live is up – 5.585m listeners this quarter compared with 5.774 last quarter.

Dilse 1035am in London has tripled its audience in the last three months – going from 32,000 to 103,000 weekly listeners.

Premier Christian Radio’s breakfast show is also down – from 106k 12 months ago to 42k today.

Jazz FM has gone back to national with D2 in stereo DAB+ and has gained almost 100,000 listeners.

BBC 6 Music maintained its position as leading digital-only station with 2.27m listeners, a year on year growth of 10%.

Commercial radio has again delivered strong results for reach, with an audience of 35,570,000 compared to 35,066,000 for the BBC. However, time spent listening to the BBC is still greater than commercial broadcasters.

BBC stations account for a 52.2% market share of listening hours compared to 45.2% for commercial radio.

UK radio’s overall weekly reach is now 90.1% (up from 89.9% year-on- year). On average, listeners are tuning in for an extra 30 minutes of live radio every week, with figures climbing from 21 hours, to 21.5 hours this quarter. 59% of Brits tune into digital radio weekly, up from 57% in May.

Lucy Barrett, Radiocentre’s Client Director says: “Commercial radio continues to offer an amazing range of choices for listeners and advertisers and it is brilliant to see this reflected in our sector’s reach. It is unsurprising that people turn to radio, the original broadcast medium, for reassurance in turbulent times. Commercial stations have more to offer than ever and Radiocentre will continue to support the commercial radio sector deliver for listeners.”

Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, said: “Digital listening is now over 45% and heading for 50% with nearly 32 million people listening on a digital platform every week. The record breaking growth of 5.4 percentage points in digital listening has been prompted by the expansion of consumer choice we have seen this quarter with the successful launch of 16 new digital stations on the second commercial national DAB network – Sound Digital. Other key factors in digital growth are the nearly 50% increase in digital listening in cars and the expansion of local DAB coverage which has helped increase digital listening to local stations.”

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Posted on Thursday, August 4th, 2016 at 12:02 am by RadioToday UK

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