RAJAR Figures Q2 2018
RAJAR Q&A for Q2 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. Who has won the BBC/Commercial Radio battle in Q2 2018?

The UK population continues to listen to more commercial radio each week than BBC stations with commercial radio posting 35.5 million listeners compared to the BBC’s 34.5 million listeners.

BBC stations have continued to lose listeners this quarter, with nine of 13 stations recording declines. The BBC have said that the loss in listenership is mostly due to a quieter news agenda in the second quarter of this year, compared to significant events last spring, such as the Grenfall Tower fire, a general election and terrorist attacks in the UK.

At the BBC, digital stations 1Xtra, Asian Network, World Service and 5 live Sports Extra were the only national services seeing their audiences go up this quarter.

2. Which radio station is your RAJAR hero?

Jazz FM has recorded their highest audience recorded in the last 4 years, increasing their weekly reach to 672,000, which is up 14% quarter on quarter and 21% year on year. The station’s total listening hours have also grown substantially, rising to 3,047,000 up a massive 84% year on year.

The most popular show appears to be Jamie Crick’s new afternoon show, which has attracted a record of 248,000 listeners (up 25% quarter on quarter).

The Jazz FM audience profile remains consistent with previous listener data showing the station’s core audience to be predominately aged 25-54 (53%), slightly male biased (54%) and strongly ABC1 (60%).

Since the station re-launched nationally on DAB+, their listenership outside of London has grown to 46% (compared to under 40% in Q1 2016 before the DAB+ launch). The station now also boasts the highest share of listening via internet/mobile of any national radio brand in the UK (41%), so it’s been a great RAJAR for Jazz!

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

Digital listening has increased year on year to 50.2% share, up from 48.7% in Q2 2017; this figure has been boosted by the growing popularity of digital-only stations and the growth of digital listening in car and in the workplace. Most of the UK now has access to over fifty DAB stations and some major cities over seventy.
Bauer continues to lead the industry in digital listening, with Kisstory posting its largest ever audience figures, followed by Absolute 80s with 1.5 million. Kisstory is the first digital only commercial station to break 2 million listeners (2.02 million). Capital Xtra has also had a record RAJAR as it now reaches 1.8 million listeners every week across the UK.

Other commercial digital-only stations have also grown strongly year on year:

• Heart 80s increased by 37.4% to reach 1.2 million listeners
• Smooth Extra grew by 42.1% to reach 1.1 million listeners
• Absolute Radio 90s grew by 26.3% to reach 822,000
• Kerrang! grew by 31.6% to reach 692,000 listeners
• Jazz FM grew by 20.9% to reach 672,000 listeners
• Heart extra grew by 35.6% to reach 579,000 listeners
• Virgin Radio has grown by 11% to reach 413,000 listeners
• Magic Soul has grown by 30.7% to reach 319,000 listeners
• Magic Chilled grew by 49.8% to reach 304,000 listeners.

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

Absolute Radio Network has recorded its best-ever audience figures with 4.7 million listeners, growing 10% Year on Year, whist the flagship Absolute Radio station posted 2.5 million listeners, growing 21% Year on Year. Dave Berry’s show is the number one national commercial Breakfast Show – reaching 2.2 million listeners (17% YoY growth) Dave took over the show on 4th June, so we look forward to seeing next quarter’s results when he will have been on air for a full quarter.

The new Hits Radio Brand, which also launched on the 4th June, has posted an impressive 6.5 million listeners. This figure includes the Hits Radio ‘Network’ of stations formerly called ‘Big City 1’ such as Metro, Radio City, Viking and Hallam. The Hits Radio breakfast show with Gethin Jones, Gemma Atkinson and Dave Vitty has posted a weekly reach of 343,000 listeners. Hits Radio Manchester was surveyed during the period as Key 103, but showed that it lost listeners during the last quarter, from 383k, to 374k. However, it was up year-on-year, from a low of 368k.

The Radio X Network has recorded a record number of listeners across the UK, with its highest ever reach of 1.7 million, up 288,000 listeners in one year.

Panjab Radio registered 88,000 listeners Q1 2018 RAJAR, the latest data released today increases Panjab Radio’s reach to 213,000 listeners across the UK. The station’s Managing Director Surjit Singh Ghuman MBE said: “The efforts marketing the station over the last 3 months, combined with relevant and targeted programming to the UK’s Panjabi population has delivered a fantastic set of results. The numbers only account for the station’s Digital audience. Panjab 1584AM, the north/East London analogue service is not measured, maybe it’s time to start!”

Newly rebranded stations Smooth Radio Lake District (previously Lakeland Radio) saw its weekly reach drop by 3000 listeners taking it to a weekly reach of 12,000, whilst The Bay lost 5000 listeners (86,000) after becoming Heart North Lancashire and Cumbria. This week Global announced that it would be adding another Lancashire station to its portfplio with the acquisition of 2BR, so we look forward to seeing how the station performs under new ownership.

5. Finally, were there any newly reporting stations this quarter?

Yes, there were a quite a few newly reporting stations this RAJAR:

Love 80s Liverpool posted an initial weekly reach of 7000 listeners.

100% Dragon Hits & Whatever, which plays music across South Wales and The West of England has posted a weekly reach of 9,000.

The Scottish Sun launched three radio stations this year with The Wireless Group: The Scottish Sun 80s posted 11,000 listeners, Scottish Sun Greatest Hits reported 2000 listeners and The Scottish Sun Hits has an initial reach of 6000.

Other newly reporting stations Jack 3 and Star Radio (Cambridge and Ely)posted 4000 and 17,000 weekly listeners respectively.


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