RAJAR Figures Q4 2017
RAJAR Q&A for Q4 2017 from RadioWorks »

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

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

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1. What are the highlights on RAJAR Q4 2017?

Commercial radio has been ahead of the BBC for the whole of 2017, with 447,000 more people listening to commercial radio each week than BBC stations in the last quarter of 2017. 65% of UK adults listen to commercial radio weekly, and when we break this down by age, this goes up amongst 15-44’s with 71% listening to commercial radio every week.

Commercial radio’s growth has partly been thanks to the increase of digital radio stations and the growth in digital listening. More people are now listening to radio via apps or online, which could be due to the growth of voice activation and the explosion in sales of Amazon Echo’s and Google Home devices.

2. Which radio station is your RAJAR hero?

Classic FM has definitely celebrated its 25th birthday in style by adding an additional 308,000 listeners year on year and 240,000 listeners since last quarter.

The station now reaches 5.7 million adults every week, and over half a million of those listeners are aged under 25, which is a 43% increase compared to the same period in 2016.

Interestingly, people are not just tuning in to Classic FM for the music – the station reached more people online than ever before with 1.7 million followers on Facebook as well as videos on ClassicFM.com being viewed 1.7 million times!

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

Digital radio listening has reached a record share of 49.9% and is so very close to that 50% mark, which we can hopefully expect next quarter.

With nearly 50% of all listening now being digital, listening on a digital platform is fast becoming the norm and there has been a surge in listening for commercial stations such as Radio X, who have increased their reach by 26% year on year to 1.58 million listeners. Nationally, digital listening hours have increased by 7.3% year on year to 58%.

In car digital listening hours have grown by 25% year on year, an increase of 15.9 million hours, and reached a new record share of 32%.

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

For the first time in its history, Cool FM has exceeded the half a million listener mark, now reaching 503,000. This means that one third of the adult population throughout Northern Ireland now listen to Cool FM every week.

It’s also been a record RAJAR for KMFM, who now reach 206,000 weekly listeners across Kent. The KMFM breakfast show has also had a good quarter, posting its biggest audience ever with 116,000 listeners every week.

The Bay’s final full RAJAR showed its lowest ever figures at 78,000 listeners, down from 112,000 last year. Lakeland Radio has also recorded its lowest reach in five years – down to 15,000 weekly listeners, so we look forward to seeing how they perform as Heart and Smooth going forward, now that Global Radio have bought the stations.

5. Finally, how did the networks perform?

Global Radio’s total reach now amounts to more than 23 million listeners, whilst Bauer Radio follows with 17.8 million. Heart is still the biggest commercial radio brand nationally with 9.2m weekly listeners, although this is slightly down from last quarter (9.5m).

Heart, Capital, Kiss and Smooth have all decreased listenership ever so slightly from last quarter, but it’s good news for Bauer as the Absolute Network and Magic Network has continued to increase its reach. The Magic Radio Network has posted its highest ever reach with 3.9 million listeners and it’s been a good first set of results for Ronan and Harriet on Magic Breakfast as they have added 100,000 listeners to their show, now reaching 1.4 million listeners across the UK. Dave Berry’s new Hometime show on Absolute Radio has also had a great first set of results, posting more than a million listeners!

The Wireless Group, who own a host of national stations such as talkSPORT as well as a number of local stations including Wish FM and Signal 107 have an overall reach of 4.6 million listeners this quarter, a very slight increase from Q3. It’s good news for Virgin Radio, who now have a record 483,000 listeners since relaunch in 2016. We are also looking forward to seeing how talkRADIO’s figures will change in the next few quarter’s with the addition of Eammon Holmes at drivetime and Gogglebox’s Steph & Dom at weekends.


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