RAJAR Figures Q3 2017
RAJAR Q&A for Q3 2017 from RadioWorks »

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

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

View the headlines here.

1. What are the highlights on RAJAR Q3 2017?

This quarter has been tough for commercial radio, but we’ve still seen some very impressive results.

For instance, it’s been a great RAJAR for the specialist music stations, with Capital Xtra setting a new record of 1.5 million listeners per week (up 10.6% year on year) and Jazz FM reporting their second highest audience recorded in the last 3 years (570,000).

A key highlight, not to be forgotten is that Commercial Radio remains in front of the BBC again with 35.6m listeners in the UK.

2. Which radio station is your RAJAR hero?

Wireless Group’s Virgin Radio is the station to keep an eye on! It’s had a great final quarter before its recent programming changes and now reaches over half a million listeners (556k, up 61% from 354k a year ago). It will be interesting to see how Edith Bowman’s departure affects the station next quarter.

A special mention also goes to Cool FM in Belfast, who now have almost half a million listeners (495,000) – this is the biggest audience in the stations 27 year history!

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

Digital radio has had seen record audience nationally this quarter from the likes of Kisstory, Heart 80s, Mellow Magic, talkSPORT 2 and Virgin Radio. In the digital commercial station race, Kisstory is the most popular digital-only station, with a record reach of 1.82 million listeners. Absolute 80s follow with a weekly reach of 1.53 million.

In total, 33 million people now tune in to radio via a digitally enabled receiver - DAB, digital TV or online - each week.

In car digital listening exceeded 30% for the first time to reach a new record share of 30.9%. Digital listening in cars has contributed to 40.6% of all digital listening hourly growth.

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

Heart 80s, the newly reporting station from Q2 has had an amazing RAJAR, achieving an impressive second RAJAR posting of 1.08 million (852,0000 in Q2). 80s music is definitely a hit in the UK, with Absolute 80s and Heart 80s boasting 2nd and 3rd place respectively in the commercial digital only station race! This notable result from the relatively new Heart station has helped Heart to remain as the biggest commercial radio brand with 9.5m weekly listeners.

Radio X have also achieved a new record of 1.5million listeners across their network (up 20.4% year on year), and the breakfast show with Christ Moyles has seen a spike a decent spike in listeners, now posting a weekly reach of 823,000 nationally and 242,000 in London.

Union JACK, celebrated its 1st birthday last month and can celebrate further with its latest RAJAR results. 101,000 people now tune in to the Best of British music station every week and over 8 million songs votes have been cast on the Union JACK app since launch.

5. Finally, how did the networks perform?

As mentioned above, Heart remains the biggest commercial radio brand with 9.5m weekly listeners. It’s also proved to be a good RAJAR for the Magic Network, with has posted 3.7m listeners, helped by the growth of Mellow Magic and Magic Chilled.

Despite being the top commercial station in London (based on reach), the Capital Brand is slightly down both quarter on quarter and year on year, although still boast an impressive 8.6m listeners every week.

The Wireless Group, who own a host of national stations such as talkSPORT and Virgin Radio, as well as a number of local stations including Wish FM and Signal 107 have an overall reach of 4.5 million listeners this quarter.

With stations broadcasting in major towns and cities across the UK, The Bauer City Network has also grown slightly this quarter to 6.8million listeners (6.7m in Q2). It’s also been another great quarter for the Absolute Radio Network, with 4.5 million listeners – this is due largely to the success of digital only station Absolute 80s. Over at Global Radio, The Smooth Radio Network, has performed well too with 5.1 million listeners this quarter, up 7.5% year on year.


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