We ask Simon Pearce for his thoughts on the latest set of listening figures.
RAJAR Q&A for Q3 2014 from RadioWorks »

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

Simon Pearce, our Director of Client Insight, answers our top 7 questions

View the headlines here.

1. What will RAJAR Q3 2014 be remembered for?

To be honest, it's a pretty vanilla RAJAR – although that's a good thing. The summer months don't often make for stellar RAJAR results and the data is working off an already strong year. Digital listening continues to rise and commercial radio is in a great position going into the final quarter of the year.

2. Which radio station is your RAJAR hero?

Gold London – Gold seems to be on everywhere I go at the moment – it's a favourite in the office, it was on in the taxi, in the local shop and at the barbers! And it seems that it's not just a coincidence… in London Gold is up 31% Quarter on Quarter and 35% Year on Year and across the network it is up 20% Q on Q to now reach over 1 million listeners.

The station's parent company, Global, recently made the decision to rebrand the majority of the Gold stations to Smooth, in order to expand that network but whatever changes they made to Gold during the process definitely seem to have worked.

3. Which station has surprised you this quarter?

DAB only station Absolute 80s - they've posted their best ever set of figures and are a mere 12,000 listeners behind parent station Absolute Radio National which delivers 1,444,000 verses Absolute 80s 1,432,000. Could 80s jump ahead next quarter?

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

Digital listening now makes up 37.8% of all listening, which is a new record. This has been helped by the increase of listening to digital radio in-car, 58% of all new cars have digital radio as standard, and listening hours in-car have increased by 53%.

If you've ever listened to an AM station, like talkSPORT or Absolute (outside of London), when driving you will know the signal quality isn't always the best and having the ability to listen digitally really does make a difference to the listener and the station's listening figures.

5. What about the notorious London Breakfast Show battle?

Perhaps unsurprisingly Dave Berry and Lisa Snowdon on Capital FM have retained the number one spot. The pair have yet again beaten off competition from the other commercial stations, most of which have remained relatively static. Heart London's breakfast show however has really fallen off this quarter, dropping down from 2nd place in London to 6th – next quarter's results will start to reveal if this is a blip or a worrying downward trend.

6. What's your favourite fact this quarter?

Last quarter Original 106 was my RAJAR hero for being up 50% year on year so it was great to see them up another 13.7% this quarter to take them over 320,000 weekly listeners – that's a quarter of the population in the station's wider Aberdeen region .

7. To close, describe RAJAR Q3 2014 in one sentence? (or two!)

Ok, this is more than one sentence but… Historically quarter 3 tends to be the quarter where listening drops off very slightly; this is due to a number of factors including nicer weather and the summer holidays.

This year the same slight drop off in reach appears to have happened again, however total hours have remained incredibly strong – showing that the uptake in digital streaming services hasn't been to the detriment of radio listening.


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