RAJAR Q1 2014 results

The radio marketplace

48 million adults, or 90% of the population, listen to radio every week. That’s a year on year addition of approximately 800,000 listeners.

64% of UK adults listen to commercial radio in the UK every week, that’s 34 million people. Local commercial radio listening is nearly 3 times more than that of local BBC stations at 27.2 million.

36.6% of all radio listening is via a digital platform, up from 34.3% in Q1 2013. Nearly a fifth of all adults and just under a third of 15-24 year olds use their mobile or tablet once a month to listen to radio. 51% of the population use a digital platform to listen to radio every week, an increase of 4% year on year.

After absorbing the Real Radio network, Heart can now claim its place as the UK’s biggest radio brand with 9.1 million weekly listeners. Dropping into 2nd place but increasing its overall figures by 5.6% year on year, the Capital Network reaches 7.3 million weekly listeners. However, when including sister station Capital XTRA, that number jumps to 7.84 million.


Top RAJAR story

The big news story is London, where there have been massive increases in audience for stations such as Smooth London, XFM London and Heart London – all up by over 50%. Magic 105.4 and Absolute are up 16% & 20% respectively in terms of total hours.

Heart and Magic are battling for the top spot in London with Reach vs Hours – Magic 105.4 has the most listeners in London with a weekly reach of 1,943,000 (up 11%) whilst Heart has the most total hours; 11,398,000 (up 50%).


Digital listening growth

18% of adults listen to radio via their mobile phone or tablet at least once per month – up 43% year on year

Listening online reaches 66 million hours – up 27% year on year

25 million adults now have access to a DAB receiver – up 10% year on year


The detail:

BBC Radio 1: 
up year on year with 10.5m listeners despite breakfast show host Nick Grimshaw losing more than half a million listeners in the past three months. His show recorded a weekly reach of 5.78 million listeners between December 30 2013 and March 30 this year, a dramatic loss of 510,000 listeners from the previous quarter’s figure of 6.29 million. The BBC has pointed out that Nick gained 130,000 under-24s (whilst losing 526,000 over-25s during the quarter). Including all listeners aged 10+, the show has a weekly audience of 6.33 million.

BBC Radio 2: increased its reach to 15.57m, with Chris Evans again securing record figures with 9.83m listeners every week. The increase goes from 15.51m last quarter and 15.27m last year, to 15.57m this time around.

BBC Radio 5 live: slightly down both quarter on quarter and year on year, but only from 6.2m to 6.1m

 Alan Brazil pulls in 1.5m listeners every day, his highest ever audience. The station has kept its 3.2m listeners this quarter too, which represents a 10% increase year on year. The weekend sports breakfast and live Barclays Premier League football on Sundays are also recording their highest audience.

The Absolute Radio Network has added 291,000 listeners year on year and now reaches 3.5 million people every week

Absolute 80’s tops the digital commercial radio charts whilst heat radio has shown rapid growth with a 20% increase in reach, year on year


Most listened to stations in London: (reach)

1. BBC Radio 4 (2.73m)

2. BBC Radio 2 (2.31m)

3. Magic 105.4 (1.94m)

4. Capital FM (1.90m)

5. Kiss (1.84m)

6. Heart (1.80m)

7. BBC Radio 1 (1.70m)

8. Classic FM (1.31m)

9. BBC Radio 5 live (1.28m)

10. LBC (1.01m)

Magic 105.4 is back on top amongst commercial radio stations in London, pushing Capital down to second place. It’s a very close race as Magic has added almost 200,000 listeners to 1.94m whilst Capital drops by the same amount dipping below the two million mark to 1.90m. Kiss is now in third place with 1.84m and in close 4th is Heart with 1.80m

BBC Radio 4 however remains the most listened to station in London with 2.7m listeners followed by BBC Radio 2 with 2.3m

At breakfast, Dave Berry and Lisa Snowdon on Capital remain the most listened to with 923,000, followed by Magic 105.4 with 819,000 listeners and Kiss 100 in third place with 799,000. See the Top 5 list below.



Across the UK, Heart is the biggest commercial radio brand with 9.1m listeners thanks to an additional two million newly absorbed Real Radio listeners following the recent rebranding of the Real network

Smooth Radio North West attracted one million listeners for the first time, making it the biggest UK commercial radio station outside London

Xfm’s national reach has gone down this quarter despite the addition of Real Radio XS’s 69,000 listeners.

In Liverpool, Radio City has added 50,000 listeners

In Manchester, Key 103 are back on track with 660,000 listeners after an all-time low of 395,000 listeners nine months ago

In the North East, TFM Radio, now sharing with Metro Radio, is up year on year from 169,000 to 175,000

Radio City has added 50,000 listeners, City Talk 105.9 now has less audience than its first survey in 2008, at 62,000 listeners and 2.8 average hours.

Global Radio’s Capital Yorkshire has held the title for a number of years but a slight drop this quarter

The Smooth brand nationally has also grown thanks to the addition of the former Gold AM frequencies now used by Smooth.

LBC is celebrating the highest reach of any commercial station in London.


The Pulse and Pulse 2 in Yorkshire have recorded huge growths in how long people are listening to the stations

Juice FM in Liverpool has achieved a 9% increase in listeners from the previous quarter and 4% on the previous year, plus a 25% quarter-on-quarter increase in average listening hours

Wire FM in Warrington, Widnes and Runcorn has increased its listeners with 17% more year-on-year. Listeners are also listening to Wish FM and Wire FM for longer

Radio Wave in Blackpool, the station has gained a 23% increase in the number of listeners from the previous year