RAJAR Q2 2014 Update

The latest RAJAR results have been released showing that the impact of radio is bigger than ever as well as revealing a number of significant developments for UK stations.

The radio marketplace

  • 48 million adults, or 90% of the UK population, tune in to radio each week
  • Digital listening hours remain high for with 378 million hours being listened to in an average week. The share of listening to DAB has increased by 1% year on year to 24.1% of all listening (23.9% in Q2, 2013)
  • 22% of adults claim to listen to the radio via a mobile phone or tablet at least once per month, up 51% year on year. 36% of 15-24 year olds claim to listen to the radio via a mobile phone or tablet at least once per month, up 25% year on year
  • In terms of social media, 21% of the adult population currently receive updates about their favourite radio station/presenter, with the figure rising to 38% of 15-24s

Top RAJAR stories

  • BBC Radio 2′s Chris Evans is almost 4 million listeners ahead of Radio 1 breakfast rival Nick Grimshaw. The breakfast host has hit another audience high, with a new record number of listeners to his show. Evans now pulls in 9.91 million each week, giving his show the biggest audience recorded in the UK since the current measurement methods were launched 15 years ago
  • talkSport had a great end to the premiership season as it gained 180,000 listeners during Q2
  • KISS UK continues to grow, up 6% YOY, reaching over 4.6 million adults every week – and its signature online station KISSTORY reaches a record audience of over 1 million with its offering of old skool and anthems. KISS 100 in London remains the most listened to station for 15-34 year olds

The detail

BBC National

BBC Radio 1

Radio 1 recorded a weekly reach of 10.80 million listeners aged 15+ during the period, compared to 10.53m last year and 11.02m last quarter. The station has a share of 6.8%, (from 6.8% last year and 6.7% last quarter).

Some welcome news for breakfast host Nick Grimshaw, who has seen a slight boost in figures from 5.89 million a year ago to 5.97 million. RAJAR figures also show Radio 1 has an audience of 10.8 million listeners – up 270,000 compared with the previous quarter, although down 220,000 on this time last year.

BBC Radio 1Xtra

Amongst digital-only stations, Radio 1Xtra posted a reach of 937,000 weekly listeners (down from 1.11m last year and 1.10m last quarter).

BBC Radio 2

BBC Radio 2′s Chris Evans is almost 4 million listeners ahead of Radio 1 rival Nick Grimshaw. The breakfast show host has hit another audience high, with a new record number of listeners to his show. Evans now pulls in 9.91 million each week, giving his show the biggest audience recorded in the UK since the current measurement methods were launched 15 years ago. The 48 year old has seen the Radio 2 audience soar by almost two million listeners to the station’s breakfast audience after his predecessor Sir Terry Wogan bowed out with 8.1 million. The station as a whole now has 15.5 million listeners, up slightly from the 15.44 million a year ago.

BBC Radio 3
Radio 3 has seen its year-on-year audience decrease to 1.88 million (down 120,000). It has also just said goodbye to its controller Roger Wright after almost 16 years, the share is 1.0%, from 1.2% last year and 1.3% last quarter.

BBC Radio 4
Radio 4 has also seen its audience emerge a little battered, shedding 450,000 listeners compared with 12 months earlier, to give 10.53 million. Its share of listening is 11.6%, compared to 12.2% last quarter and 12.1% last year. The Today programme has 6.71 million listeners each week, from 6.97m last year and 7.06m last quarter. Radio 4 Extra attracted 1.57 million listeners per week (from last quarter’s 1.66m and last year’s 1.57m).

BBC Radio 5Live (and Sports Extra)

Radio 5live posted a combined reach with sister station 5live sports extra of 6.44 million listeners, from 6.33m last quarter and 6.32m last year. Share for Radio 5live (inc. sports extra) is 4.4% (4.5% last year and 4.3% last quarter). 5live’s reach – without 5live sports extra – was 6.28 million, compared to 6.04m last year and 6.17m last quarter.

BBC Asian Network
Asian Network recorded a weekly audience of 552,000 (reporting on 6mths).

BBC 6 Music
6 Music overtakes Radio 3 for the first time drawing 1.89 million listeners (down from 1.93m last quarter and 1.79m last quarter). 6 Music’s audience has doubled since a public campaign saved it from a proposed closure in 2010.

BBC Regional


BBC Local Radio in England now reaches 6.8m listeners each week (compared to 7.2m last year and 6.9m last quarter) and BBC London posted a reach of 572,000 – its largest audience under the current methodology and up from 443,000 last quarter and 492,000 last year.

Individually, year on year increases in audience for BBC Hereford & Worcester, BBC London 94.9, BBC Oxford 95.2FM, BBC Radio Leeds, BBC Radio Leicester and BBC Radio York.

Whilst BBC Radio Cumbria, BBC Radio Devon, BBC Radio Gloucestershire, BBC Radio Manchester, BBC Radio Newcastle, BBC Radio Northampton, BBC Radio Nottingham, BBC Radio Stoke, BBC Radio Suffolk, BBC Radio Wiltshire/Swindon, BBC Somerset and BBC Three Counties Radio all posted losses of more than 10% in reach year on year.


BBC Radio Wales saw a 34,000 fall in its weekly listeners to 430,000, but its listener share rose.

Listener numbers of the BBC’s Welsh language service Radio Cymru have risen since its new schedule was introduced. About 147,000 people now tune into the station each week – up 4,000 in the past three months.




Great news at UTV’s talkSPORT, which now attracts 3.4 million listeners overall, and has a 17% increase in listening hours year on year. Listening in London is up 34% year-on-year and the station reports it has its highest ever listening figures for the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast at 1.5m.

Juice FM

Juice FM in Liverpool gains a listener increase of 25% year on year.

Bauer Radio

Bauer saw quarterly gains across all of its major stations in Q2 as its total portfolio reaches 16.8 million listeners (up 12% year on year). Bauer also posted their highest ever digital listening hours (50.8%) of all listening to Bauer Radio stations (compared to industry average of 36.8%).

Planet Rock

Planet Rock saw a 15.7% dip in reach year-on-year, from 1,296,000 in Q2 2013 to 1,092,000 in Q2 2014. But it earned a slight gain of 0.6% compared to Q1 2014, when the station’s reach stood at 1,085,000. Planet Rock’s share stayed firm at 0.7%.

Heat Radio
Heat radio, which has just announced its newest signing – Hollywood insider Ryan Seacrest – has demonstrated significant year on year growth, now reaching a record 892,000 listeners, up 13% year on year.

Absolute Radio

Absolute Radio Network saw a slight year-on-year dip in reach during Q2 2014, with its latest RAJAR figures standing at 3,760,000 – down 0.2% from 3,543,000. That did, however, represent a 6.1% increase on Q1.The network’s share stood at 2.4% compared to 2.5% in the previous quarter. A record 82% of listening to the Absolute Radio Network is via a digital device. The Absolute Radio Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show has achieved a record network reach of 1.5 million, driven by a pioneering approach which gives listeners the choice of different decade themed playlists.


The previous quarter saw Magic sitting proudly as number one commercial station in the capital but with their current posting of 1.94m listeners, they have slipped to 2nd place, lagging behind Capital by over 200k listeners. The brands UK reach for Q2 2014 stood at 3,508,000, up 2.2% on the previous quarter (3,432,000) but down 3% Year on year (Q2 13: 3,618,000). Magic 105.4’s Neil Fox attracted 786,000 Londoners, a decrease of 1.7 per cent year on year and slipping into third place from second in the first quarter of 2014. Magic claimed a share of 1.9% in Q2 2014, down on the previous quarter where it earned 2.1%.


Kiss FM’s national reach stood at 4,633,000 in Q2 2014 – a 6.4% increase year-on-year (up from 4,354,000 in Q2 2013) and a 0.5% quarter-on-quarter (up from 4,612,000). Kiss UK’s share stood at 2.6% in Q2 2014, up compared to its 2.5% share in Q1 14 and its 2.1% share in Q2 2013. The KISS Breakfast Show with Rickie, Melvin and Charlie has increased its UK audience to 1.5 million (up 28% year on year).

Other Bauer:

London, Magic 105.4 increases its reach to 1.9 million (up 3% year on year).

Manchester’s Key 103, delivers an audience of 558,000 (up 37% year on year)

Liverpool’s Radio City has an audience of 439,000 (up 3% year on year)

Newcastle’s Metro Radio has grown its listeners to 436,000 (up 13% year on year)

Edinburgh’s Forth 1 also increases its audience to 332,000 (up 0.3% year on year)

Global Radio

Global has recorded its highest ever group RAJAR, fuelled by the takeover of former GMG Radio stations. Stations previously known as Real Radio are now listed as Heart, but the Q2 figures only includes half of the quarter under the new brand. It’s a little premature to really discover the full impact Heart has had, however it is clear that it is business as usual under the former Real brand, except in Scotland where the regional station has dropped to an all-time low of 421,000 compared to 488,000 a year ago. However, in South Wales and Yorkshire, the numbers are up 50,000 in three months at both stations. Across the group, Global listeners now stand at 23.2m every week, its highest ever. Heart network total listening hours are up by 2.7m from 63.6m to 66.2m.


While Global’s top station in terms of listening hours, LBC Network (UK), was down -4.6% over the period


XFM London has lost 33,000 listeners in London, but gained 65,000 in Manchester. In Scotland, XFM has 90,000 compared with Real XS on the same frequency which had 69,000 last survey.


Capital FM has returned to the number one commercial spot in London with over two million listeners, separating them and 2nd place Magic. The station has added 290,000 listeners in the last three months to take it to 2.2m reach. The good news for Capital London included a return to form with its breakfast show hosted by Dave Berry and Lisa Snowdon, the winners of the Best UK Breakfast Show of the Year at the Radio Academy Awards 2014 in May. Although the pair’s weekly audience had slipped down to 923,000 in the first quarter of 2014, listeners have since returned, with 1.11 million of the capital’s radio audience tuning in each week during Q2, up 0.6 per cent year on year.

Capital XTRA

Capital XTRA drops 50% in London, while sister station Capital FM returns to top spot in London as the most listened to commercial station, XTRA has shed almost half its listeners in London.

The station had 680,000 listeners a year ago when it was operating as Choice, but has reported a drop of 47.4% to 358,000 listeners today in London only.

Smooth Radio

The Smooth Radio brand, on Communicorp owned stations, has reached a recent high in London, with 216,000 extra listeners taking reach from 565,000 to 781,000. In the North West, the station now has 1.1m listeners whilst the network has its highest ever at 4.6m.

Orion Media

Free Radio & Gem 106

Good news for Orion Medias radio brands as total listening for Free Radio and Gem 106, increased by 3% over the last three months.

The Q2 figures also show that Free Radio is the most listened to commercial radio brand in its West Midlands area. Total listening (for Free FM + Free 80s combined) grew by 15% over the same period. The number of listeners also increased, by 4% over the same period, with 734,000 people tuning in every week.


Kent’s kmfm have added 21,500 listeners over the last quarter which means a total of more than 170,000 adults across the county are now listening each week. The biggest increase was among 15 to 44-year-olds, with audience figures up by more than a quarter in this category.

Premier Christian Radio

Premier Christian Radio, which is on AM in London and nationally on DAB had a 147% increase in audience year on year. This station now has almost a quarter of a million listeners.