RAJAR Q4 2017: London and national brands

Chris Moyles has posted a record audience for his Radio X breakfast show as the station also hits its biggest reach ever.

Moyles’ audience grew by nearly a third in 2017 to 910,000 listeners a week, and the station overall has hit 1.6m for the first time. Chris has grown his audience for the last seven quarters.

Capital and LBC have retained their places as the number one commercial stations in London on reach and share.

The big commercial winners in the capital compared with the previous quarter are Capital Xtra (reach is up 22.4% to 777,000), Premier Christian Radio (up 11.8% to 142k) and LBC 97.3 (up 9.5% to 1.215m). There’s good growth in reach too in London for Kiss, Radio X and Absolute Radio. A special mention for BBC Radio London, which has seen reach shoot up almost 60% in the last 12 months – it’s up 26.4% quarter-on-quarter too – to 574,000.

National stations doing well in the London TSA include Radio 1 (up 13.6% in the last 3 months in the capital), Classic FM (up 10.1%) and 5 live (up 9.7% compared with Q3/17).

UK-wide there are good Q on Q figures in Q4/17 for BBC Radio 4 Extra (up 5.2% to 2.264m reach), 5 live (up 7.6% to 5.543m), Kiss Fresh (up 11.4% to 578,000), Sunrise Radio (up 13.8% to 403,000), Heart 80s (up 7.4% to 1.166m) and Absolute Radio (up 6% to 2.608m this quarter). Not doing so well in this book nationally are 5 live Sports Extra (down a huge 35.2% this quarter to 1.065m and Jazz FM (down 10.7% Q on Q).

Special mention for good national reach rises over the last 12 months for 1Xtra (up 17.2%), Absolute Radio (up 21.8%) Capital Xtra (up 20%), Kiss Fresh (up 17.5%), Kisstory (up 22.3%), LBC (up 19.7%), Magic Chilled (up 14%) and Radio X (up 26% to 1.58m)

At breakfast, the main five BBC networks have all increased reach compared with last quarter, while the Absolute, Classic FM, Kiss, Magic and Radio X breakfast shows across the UK are all also up. talkSPORT has lost audience this quarter though.

London breakfast shows doing well in Q4/17 include Jamie & Emma on Heart (up from 490k to 680k), Rickie, Melvin & Charlie on Kiss (up from 900k to 1.027m), Harriet & Ronan on Magic (up from 659k to 780k) and Chris Moyles on Radio X (up from 242k to 270k in London. Well done too to Vanessa Feltz on BBC Radio London, whose audience has gone from 166,000 a year ago to 272,000 in the last 3 months of 2017.

Here are some more headlines from around the country…

Kiss Breakfast is London’s biggest commercial breakfast show on reach, overtaking Capital this quarter. Kiss breakfast now reaches 1.027m in the city, compared with Roman Kemp’s 1.011m on Capital. Third is Magic (780k) then LBC (755k) and Heart (680k).

Chris Evans has grown his audience to 9.431m (up from 9.354m in Q3/17). The Today Programme has 7.146m; Grimmy 5.722m and 5 live Breakfast 2.245m. Next nationally are Kiss (2.235m), Absolute (2.1m), Classic FM (1.916m), Magic (1.416m), talkSPORT (1.163m), Radio X (910k) and Radio 3 (607k).

Nick Grimshaw’s 5.722m becomes 6.16m when you include listeners aged 10 to 15. Radio 1 says it’s the show’s biggest reach in two years.

Overall, Radio 1 posted a reach of 9.84 million listeners (from 9.7m last quarter and 9.56m last year) – which rises to 10.72m when listeners aged 10 and over are included.

BBC Radio 2’s weekly audience is a whopping 15.49 million (up from 15.36m last quarter and 15.05m last year year) while the station’s share of listening is now 18.3% (17.5% last quarter and 17.3% last year). Radio 2’s reach is the highest in nearly 2 years.

Heart is the UK’s biggest commercial radio brand reaching 9.2m people every week. Capital is second on 8.3m.

Radio X now has a record 1.6m listeners, up 326,000 in the last year. Chris Moyles’ reach is up 27% in 2017 to 910k, while Johnny Vaughan’s drive show is up 38% year on year to 714k.

Highest ever reach for the Magic Radio Network with 3.9 million listeners. Year on year growth across Mellow Magic (now 473,000), Magic Chilled (now 268,000) and Magic Soul gets its biggest audience so far with 254,000 weekly listeners.

Bauer says the new Dave Berry Show at Hometime has posted its best audience in Absolute Radio’s history. It also says digital listening to Absolute is now at a record 70%.

Virgin Radio hits its highest reach (483,000) and hours (1.4m) since relaunching in 2016.

talkRADIO has its best average hours – 5 a week – but reach is down both year on year and quarter on quarter to 242,000.

talkSPORT’s audience continues to fall – down nearly 5% year on year to 2.663m. Wireless Group says combined listening to talkSPORT and talkSPORT2 on Saturday afternoons is up 9% this quarter to 885,000.

Digital station Union JACK reports its first full 12-month results, with reach up from 71,000 at the start of 2017 to 88,000 at the end of the year. It’s a drop though from last quarter when the station hit 101,000 reach.

Chris Country posts a reach of 23,000 and 209,000 hours in Q4/17. Its average hours (9.3 per listener) are the best ever.

UKRD station Encore Radio’s second set of figures see reach in London rise from 11,000 to 16,000, and total hours jump from 39,000 to 75,000 hours.

Fun Kids is up slightly year on year to a reach of 51,000. Total hours compared to 12 months ago are up from 57,000 to 90,000 – but Q4/17 is a disappointing book compared with the massive rises seen in Q2 and Q3 of 2017.

Thames Radio’s audience is back at the same level as the first figures it posted in Q4/16 – a reach of 15,000. Total hours are up from 13,00 to 87,000 year on year, though down from the stronger performances in Q2 and Q3.


Bob Shennan, Director of BBC Radio and Music, says: “This has been a great quarter for the BBC’s key breakfast shows. Chris Evans has shown once again that his Radio 2 show is the defining breakfast programme of his generation whilst over on Radio 1 Nick Grimshaw and his team have delivered the highest number of listeners in the slot for two years. Whether it’s music and top guests with Nick or Chris, agenda–setting news and analysis on the Today programme or lively discussion on 5 live, millions of people choose to start their day with BBC Radio.”

Ashley Tabor OBE, Founder & Executive President of Global, said: “Global continues to lead the market in the UK with some great results across our portfolio of stations. In the fiercely competitive London market, I’m delighted that Capital leads on reach and LBC on share, giving Global the lead in both measures, whilst Heart, Capital and Classic are the UK’s biggest three commercial radio brands.”

Richard Park, Group Executive Director & Director of Broadcasting at Global, said: “In its 25th birthday year, it’s fitting that Classic FM adds more than 300,000 listeners which is a huge achievement. Capital XTRA and Radio X have pulled in record numbers, both reaching 1.6m listeners every week which is also a very strong performance.”

Dee Ford, Group Managing Director Radio, Bauer Media, said, “I’m delighted with the debut performance of new talent Ronan Keating and Harriet Scott on Magic Breakfast and Dave Berry on Absolute Radio Hometime. This quarter has also seen standout performances for Rickie, Melvin and Charlie from KISS breakfast and Christian O’Connell on the Absolute Radio Breakfast Show. We have also seen record network performances for Magic, Absolute Radio and KISS and our digital leadership is unrivalled.”

Scott Taunton, Wireless Group’s CEO, said: “We are very pleased with this superb set of figures for Virgin Radio, another record breaking set of numbers and the second quarter in a row that it has delivered growth in reach and hours listened. talkRADIO continues to attract listeners for longer and the new line-up has injected great energy and fuelled debate since the start of the year. With some great new additions such as Eamonn at drivetime, Gogglebox’s Steph & Dom at weekends and Iain Lee back from his successful trip to the jungle I’ve no doubt that the station will continue to go from strength to strength. For talkSPORT and talkSPORT2 we have a busy few months ahead putting the finishing touches to our World Cup plans, alongside exclusive boxing rights to the biggest fights and live football from across the Premier League, FA Cup and EFL.”

Ben Cooper, Controller of BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra & Asian Network, said: “Great for Grimmy to get over 6 million listeners and his strongest audience figures for two years. Very pleased that Radio 1 continues to grow both on-air and online – we just got a record 1.87 billion YouTube views – which means more new, young and diverse audiences enjoying the BBC.”

Union JACK Programme Manager, Giles Gear, said: “What a remarkable explosion in hours! After 12 months of full results we now know that listeners who find Union JACK, love it! We look forward to continue ripping up the radio rulebook plus a very exciting announcement in the next few weeks.”

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Posted on Thursday, February 8th, 2018 at 12:04 am by RadioToday UK

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