Oct 2019 RadioWorks Blog
Here are the radio listening headlines from the RAJAR Q3 2019 release. All statistics are for weekly listening unless otherwise stated.
Commercial Radio has plenty to celebrate this quarter, growing slightly year-on-year with 36m weekly listeners, despite a small dip in all radio listening at 48.5m (88% of adults). It remains ahead of the BBC for the eleventh quarter in a row.
London is listening to speech radio in growing numbers, which is reflected in LBC’s Nick Ferrari claiming the top Breakfast spot (813k). His London Breakfast show displaces Capital’s Roman Kemp (708k) who has been frequently battling Kiss breakfast (527k)for the number one spot.
Nationally, Amanda Holden broke records (and her leg), bringing in 4.6m weekly listeners with Jamie Theakston. The duo’s first national Rajar, has placed them as the leading National Commercial Breakfast show in the UK. Capital (3.7m) and Absolute National (2.2m) breakfast shows are a step behind.
The political uncertainty around Brexit has not just drawn listeners to speech radio in London, as talkRADIO enjoys a 57% increase year-on-year in their National listening. LBC Network is also up 23% year-on-year, where their competitor BBC Radio 4 is down 3% year-on-year. Global is clearly aware of this appetite for speech radio and current affairs, as this week they announced the launch of LBC News – a 24-hour National rolling news station.
Networked stations remain strong, posting high listening figures well into the millions; Heart Brand 9.8m, Capital Brand 8.1m, Hits Brand 6.7m, Smooth Brand 5.8m, Kiss Network 5.6m, Absolute Radio Network 4.9m, Magic Network 4.2m and Virgin Radio 1.4m listeners.
Digital through a DAB, DTV, Online or App has grown its share of listening to 56.8% (up 4.4% year on year), while reaching 65% of UK adults each week.
Commercial listening share is stronger on Digital Platforms with 58.8% vs. the BBC’s 55.3%.
Switching to Digital-only stations, Country Hits lassoed 234k listeners, up 11% since their first Rajar figures last quarter. Kisstory has surged ahead with 231k new listeners remaining the largest Digital-only station (2.6m). In the battle of the 80s stations, relative newcomer Heart 80s had a strong result with 23% growth year on year (1.7M). But Absolute 80s stays on top, growing 4% year on year (1.8M).
In the regions, Jack FM in Oxford added 7000 listeners to their weekly reach (64k). The brand is also doing well Nationally with Union Jack up 19% since their first book last quarter.
Looking at how we listen, 27% of adults continue to tune in via a mobile phone or tablet once a month. With 15-24 year olds using this device the most with 33%.
In an average week, 59% of all adults listen at home, 25% in car (or other modes of transport) and 16% listen at work or elsewhere.
“As digital continues to grow (56.8% share), smart speaker ownership has seen a slight increase to 28%. With Black Friday and Christmas on the horizon, smart speakers are sure to be a popular gift again this year, so we expect to see more listeners accessing their favourite stations through voice and an increase in bespoke smart speaker campaigns in 2020.”