RAJAR Figures Q1 2018
RAJAR Q&A for Q1 2018 from RadioWorks »

What did we think of this quarter's RAJAR results?

Our Marketing and Insight team answer 5 questions on this quarter's results

View the headlines here.

1. What are the highlights on RAJAR Q1 2018?

More people listened to commercial radio each week than BBC stations in 2017, and this has continued into Q1 2018, with commercial radio posting 35.9 million listeners compared to the BBC’s 35 million listeners.

Digital radio listening has just passed the 50% mark, which we will go into a little later, but all round a great set of results this quarter for commercial radio.

2. Which radio station is your RAJAR hero?

This time, our RAJAR hero is a radio brand rather than a station!

Heart is the UK’s biggest commercial radio brand with a mighty 9.5 million listeners every week, and this is the first time that a commercial brand has beaten BBC Radio 1 (9.4m listeners). The Heart brand is doing extremely well this quarter, mainly thanks to digital station Heart 80s, who now reaches 1.4 million listeners after being on air for only a year!

3. How would you describe digital radio's results?

As expected, this RAJAR has revealed that digital listening has reached a new record share of 50.9%.

The success of digital radio has been driven by several things:

• The increase in the number of digital stations available - showing that the medium is evolving with technology and providing listeners with a greater choice of stations.
• Industry investment in DAB coverage – the expansion of national and local DAB coverage has meant that DAB is now available in over 90% of the UK, due to the launch of an additional 435 digital transmitters.
• Increased availability of DAB in cars - digital radio is in over 11 million cars on the road, equating to 33% of all cars in the UK. Plus 90% of all new cars registered now have digital radio fitted as standard.
 • The development of mobile and online Apps along with voice-controlled devices means that listeners now have even more ways of listening to their favourite station.

With the 50% digital listening threshold now met, we can expect the Government to undertake a review to assess digital radio progress and determine next steps in due course.

4. Which stations have had stand out RAJAR results this quarter?

This RAJAR has proved to be great for talk radio stations. LBC now reaches a record 2.2 million listeners every week, adding 382,000 listeners in the past year - the highest number in its 45-year history! talkRADIO has had a brilliant set of results too, up from 242,000 last quarter to 316,000 in Q1, recording the station’s highest ever reach and hours.

It's great to see talkSPORT back up over the 3 million mark (now reaching 3.1 million people). The station is up 9% quarter on quarter and 14% year on year, closing the gap on BBC Radio 5 Live, with the smallest ever gap between the stations.

5. Finally, how did the independent and regional radio stations perform?

It’s been a record RAJAR for Union JACK, who are up 60.6% year on year, now reaching 114,000 people. The National DAB station celebrates its highest ever reach, perhaps thanks to ex Absolute Host, Geoff Lloyd’s Hometown Glory show. With the Royal Wedding coming up on Saturday, this patriotic station will be the only radio station advertising on the big screens at the Royal Wedding.

The Bauer City Network now reaches 6.6 million listeners, with the network celebrating growth across the North East, Yorkshire and the Midlands.

Looking at the specialist music stations, Jazz FM has increased listenership, going from 509,000 listeners in Q4 to 591,000 this time. Chris Country has also increased listeners, with reach figures up both on a quarterly and yearly basis – now posting 34,000 listeners. The stations total hours also grew by 146.3% year on year!

Premier Christian Radio have posted an impressive 18.1 average listening hours this quarter compared to a still strong 8.1 last quarter.


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