RAJAR Q3 2014 Update

See below for the latest broadcast news based on today’s RAJAR announcement.

The radio marketplace

  • 9 out of 10 UK adults, or 46.7 million, tune in to radio each week
  • 51% of listeners use either DAB, desktops or smart devices to listen to radio at least once a week, whilst 37.8% of all radio listening is via digital platforms
  • 21% of adults listen to the radio via a mobile phone or tablet at least once per month, up 45% YOY
  • In terms of social media, 20% of the adult population currently receive updates about their favourite radio station/presenter, with the figure rising to 37% of 15-24s

Top RAJAR stories

  • BBC Radio 4 has improved its reach to overtake BBC Radio 1 with just under 11 million listeners, suggesting an increasing appetite for speech-based news and culture stories over pop music. The Editor of the Today Programme has recently commented that the station is now trying to attract a younger demographic
  • BBC 6 Music is up 5.4%, QOQ, to over 1.9 million listeners and over the year, the station has seen a 15.2% increase. Lauren Laverne has helped the BBC Radio 6 Music to its biggest-ever audience of nearly 2 million listeners
  • Capital Breakfast with Dave Berry and Lisa Snowdon remain top of the London breakfast rankings with 1 million listeners, Magic is up to second with 781,000 and Kiss is up to 3rd on 689,000
  • Bauer’s network of stations including Magic, Kiss and HeatRadio is still out-performing BBC Radio 2 for a third consecutive quarter after the acquisition of National player, Absolute Radio last year. Over the last 12 months the network has seen a 13.3% growth rate

The detail:

BBC National

BBC Radio 1 (& 1Xtra)

Nick Grimshaws Breakfast Show on Radio 1 secured 5.82 million weekly listeners, placing his show 3rd nationally. Grimshaw’s breakfast show has faced turbulent times since he took over from Chris Moyles in 2012, and while the third quarter saw average weekly listeners drop by -2.5%, the show was up 4.3% compared with this time last year to shine a glimmer of hope for the station.

Ben Cooper, who also oversees digital sibling station 1Xtra, said Radio 1 was “leading the industry in becoming a multiplatform youth brand”, including a YouTube channel with more than 1.6 million subscribers and plans for a Radio 1 channel on the BBC’s iPlayer, adding the Rajar figures “only tell part of the story. I’m very pleased that in the traditionally difficult summer quarter, the Radio 1 Breakfast Show has 240,000 new listeners in the year.

“1Xtra reaches over 1 million people, and our audience is listening for longer.”

BBC Radio 2
BBC Radio 2, almost neck and neck with the whole of Bauer’s network, has a little over 15 million weekly listeners, a slight drop of -3.1% since the second quarter. The station, home to popular breakfast host Chris Evans and daytime debater Jeremy Vine, was up just 0.5% over the year. Chris Evans’ breakfast show continued to dominate the nationals despite posting -6.1% over the period, dropping by 600,000 weekly listeners, and -0.5% year on year, finishing the third quarter with a weekly reach of 9.3 million.

BBC Radio 3
In contrast to the -21.8% quarter on quarter (QoQ) drop that the station recorded last quarter, BBC Radio Three was up 4.2% this time round and up 2.8% over the year, Radio 3, whose new controller Alan Davey has vowed the station will not be “dumbed down” when he takes over in the new year.

BBC Radio 4
This quarter saw BBC Radio 4 (including 4 Extra) improve its reach by 1.2% to overtake BBC Radio 1 (which dropped -2.5%). In a triumph of politics and culture over pop songs and youth, BBC Radio 4 (including 4 Extra) has a weekly reach just shy of 11 million listeners. BBC Radio 1 has almost 10.6 million. Maintaining its second position, with a weekly reach of 6.7 million listeners, was the breakfast show. Radio 4 had 10.6 million listeners each week on average, with 6.7 million tuning in to the Today programme, marginally down year on year. Radio 4 Extra was the second biggest digital-only station behind 6 Music, with 1.63 million listeners.

BBC Radio 5Live (and Sports Extra)

Radio 5 Live had 5.8 million listeners, down 5.2% on last year. After a summer of sport, BBC Radio 5 Live sports extra has seen quarterly growth leap 32.3% to over 1.2 million.

BBC 6 Music
BBC 6 Music was up 5.4%, quarter on quarter, to over 1.9 million listeners. Over the year, the station witnessed a 15.2% increase. Lauren Laverne has helped the BBC Radio 6 Music to its biggest-ever audience of nearly 2 million listeners. In a sign of the changing way people are listening to the radio, a record 27% of listening for 6 Music was online or via smartphone and tablet apps, the most of any station and more than four times the industry average of 6.4%.The new audience figures come a week after Labour MP Tom Watson said 6 Music, which is currently available only on digital, should be given Radio 3’s valuable FM slot because it had more listeners. 6 Music has more than tripled its audience since the BBC said it would close the station in 2010, only to be given a reprieve by the BBC Trust after an unprecedented protest by listeners.

BBC Radio Scotland is down 2% on the year and 8.9% on the previous three months. Other Scottish stations reported some extremely impressive figures, such as Smooth Radio Glasgow (up 36.9%), Original 106 (up 35%) and Moray Firth Radio (up 10%).


BBC Radio Ulster/ Foyle remains the most listened to radio station in Northern Ireland, with an average weekly audience of 536,000 listeners – approximately 36.1% of the population (Aged 15 plus). BBC Radio Ulster/Foyle’s average weekly reach figures have increased by 3,000 year on year (with 533,000 in Quarter Three, 2013) and by 25,000 listeners quarter on quarter (with 511,000 in Quarter Two, 2014).

Programming broadcast on BBC Radio Foyle, received an average weekly audience of 44,000 listeners. The average weekly reach this time last year was 38,000 listeners (Quarter Three, 2013) and this time last quarter the average weekly reach was 41,000 listeners (Quarter Two, 2014).



talkSPORT is up 5.3% year on year and has a weekly reach of more than 3.1 million. The flagship breakfast show, hosted by Alan Brazil, achieved its highest ever figures.

Bauer Radio

Still out-performing BBC Radio 2 for a third consecutive quarter after the acquisition of Absolute Radio at the end of last year, Bauer Radio’s total portfolio saw a slight gain of 1.8% from the second quarter, recording more 16.2 million weekly listeners. However, over the last 12 months, the network has seen a more substantial 13.3% growth rate. Bauer’s Passion Portfolio (including Absolute, Magic and HeatRadio) – saw a huge 35.5% rise over the last 12 months to reach over 10.2 million listeners each week.

Absolute Radio

Total Absolute Radio Network, which saw some unwelcome drops in the second quarter, was back on form, recording yearly growth of 18.2% and a 6.5% QoQ growth. The station now has a weekly reach of more than 4 million.

Increased listenership by 27.3% year on year to 965,000.

Magic 105.4 continues to perform strongly in London with 2 million listeners, ahead of its national launch on DAB in Jan 2015..

KISS UK continues to grow, now with 4.9 million listeners (+5% yoy). In London, KISS 100 is number one for 15-24, 15-34 and 15-44 year olds in both hours and share against all radio stations including BBC.

Other Bauer:

  • Manchester’s Key 103 now reaches 507k listeners (+28.4% yoy).
  • Newcastle’s Metro Radio has grown its audience to 446,000 (up 2% qoq).
  • West Sound, Radio Borders and Moray Firth also recorded year on year audience increases.

Global Radio

Total Global Radio UK has maintained its dominance over the national stations and networks, recording very little change since the second quarter (-0.7%). The network has more than 21.2 million listeners, on average, each week. Over the last year the network has seen its reach grow 4.1%

Classic FM

Classic FM is down -11% QoQ to lose a little under 200,000 weekly listeners.

The former London talk station that has gone nationwide and is home to phone-in shows with Nick Clegg, Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and Harriet Harman, had 1.28 million listeners, marginally up on the previous quarter.


Heart Network (UK) also put in a strong performance over the year, up 20% (just over 9 million listeners), despite an almost static quarter with growth of just 0.1%. The overall performance is due to the re-branding of stations to Heart following the acquisition of Global Radio and Real and Smooth Limited.


In the battle for London listeners Global Radio’s Capital held on to the number one spot among commercial stations, but only just. Capital had an average weekly audience of just under 2 million despite losing nearly 8% of its audience year on year. Capital was ahead of Bauer’s Magic, breathing down its neck on 1.96 million, and Magic’s sister station Kiss, with 1.8 million.

Smooth Radio

Smooth Radio Network – which re-branded Gold stations as Smooth – continues to count the benefits of the move after recording growth of 22.8% over the year. The network was up 2% in quarter three and now has a weekly audience of almost 4.7 million.


KMFM has recorded one of its best ever audiences – with listener numbers and tune-in times on the rise. Now more than 185,000 adults listen every week – an increase of 15,000 from the last quarter, and nearly 19% up on this time last year. Listeners are now tuning in an average 7.7 hours each week. Doing particularly well is the new breakfast show with Garry and Emma, which has added 23,000 listeners – or 40% – since it launched in the summer. All other weekday shows have also seen an excellent growth in listening numbers since the last survey.



Station/Group Reach 000s

BBC Radio 1                                       10550

BBC Radio 2                                       15014

BBC Radio 3                                       1912

BBC Radio 4                                       10621

BBC Radio 4 (including 4 Extra)        10916

BBC Radio 4 Extra                             1629

BBC Radio 5 live                                5809

BBC Radio 5 live (inc. sports extra)   6132

BBC Radio 5 live sports extra            1216

BBC 6 Music                                       1994

1Xtra from the BBC                            1057

BBC Asian Network UK                     629

BBC World Service                            1310

Classic FM                                          5199

Heat                                                    965

The Hits                                               949

Jazz FM                                              553

Kerrang!                                              879

Kiss UK                                               4858

Kiss Fresh (Was Smash Hits)             565

Kisstory                                               973

Magic UK                                            3547

Planet Rock UK                                  1098

talkSPORT                                         3148

BBC Radio Scotland                           870

BBC Radio Ulster                               536

BBC Radio Wales                               398

BBC Radio Cymru                              105

BBC Radio Berkshire                         114

BBC Radio Bristol                               140

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire               117

BBC Radio Cornwall                           172

BBC Coventry and Warwickshire      87

BBC Radio Cumbria                           122

BBC Radio Derby                               126

BBC Radio Devon                              197

BBC Essex                                         225

BBC Radio Gloucestershire               100

BBC Hereford & Worcester                128

BBC Radio Humberside                     183

BBC Radio Kent                                 225

BBC Radio Lancashire                       194

BBC Radio Leeds                               195

BBC Radio Leicester                          189

BBC Radio Lincolnshire                      107

BBC London 94.9                               462

BBC Radio Manchester                      207

BBC Radio Merseyside                      310

BBC Radio Newcastle                        277

BBC Radio Norfolk                             204

BBC Radio Northampton                    87

BBC Radio Nottingham                      147

BBC Radio Oxford                             96

BBC Radio Sheffield                          238

BBC Radio Shropshire                       120

BBC Radio Solent                               281

BBC Somerset                                    64

BBC Radio Stoke                               119

BBC Radio Suffolk                             118

BBC Sussex and BBC Surrey            254

BBC Radio Tees                                 122

BBC Three Counties Radio                            144

BBC WM (Birmingham & Black Country)      195

BBC Radio Wiltshire/Swindon            80

BBC Radio York                                 95

BBC Radio Guernsey                         21

BBC Radio Jersey                              29

Radio 1035 AM                                   72

Radio 1458 AM                                   85

THE BEACH                                       61

Dream 100                                          35

North Norfolk Radio                            23

Norwich 99.9fm                                  49

Town 102 FM                                      60

107.8 Arrow FM for Hastings             17

Absolute Radio London                       522

Planet Rock 105.2                              204

Kiss 100 FM                                        1805

Magic 105.4 (London)                         1959

Metro Radio                                        446

TFM Radio                                          163

City Talk 105.9                                    77

Radio City 96.7                                   400

Key 103 (Manchester)                        507

97.4 Rock FM                                     284

96.3 Radio Aire                                   98

Hallam FM                                          352

96.9 Viking FM                                    230

97.4 Cool FM                                      372

Downtown Radio (DTR)                     269

Clyde 1 FM                                         496

Clyde 2                                                126

ForthOne                                             323

Forth2                                                  53

Moray Firth Radio                               119

Bauer Aberdeen                                  150

Northsound One                                 131

Northsound Two                                 39

Radio Borders                                     57

Bauer Dundee                                     201

Tay-FM                                               152

Tay-AM                                               77

West Sound                                        180

C.F.M                                                  112

Kiss East                                             425

Kiss West                                            494

Magic 1152 (Newcastle)                     114

Magic 1170 (Teesside)                       80

Magic Network – North West              217

Magic 1548 (Liverpool)                       101

Magic 1152 (Manchester)                  82

Magic 999 (Preston)                           35

Magic 828 (Leeds)                              92

Magic 1161 (Hull)                               77

Magic AM (Sheffield)                         102

Wave 105 FM                                     360

The Breeze (Basingstoke / Newbury and Andover)   55

The Breeze (Cheltenham)                  18

The Breeze (Solent/ East Hants and West Surrey)    77

Jack FM South Coast                         231

The Breeze South West (Bristol/ Weston/ Bath and West Wilts)       101

The Breeze (Yeovil/ Shaftesbury and Bridgwater)     59

106 JACKfm (Bristol)                         114

JACK fm (Swindon)                           40

Central FM                                          45

Total Cheshire Radio                          69

Cheshire’s Silk 106.9                          29

Chester’s Dee 106.3                           40

The Bay                                              112

Citybeat 96.7/102.5FM                       127

Lakeland Radio                                   20

Capital Scotland                                  523

Capital South Wales                           208

Heart North Wales                              72

Heart Yorkshire                                   447

106.1 Real XS Manchester (was 106.1 Rock Radio)            123

Smooth Radio East Midlands             397

Smooth Radio North East                   475

Smooth Radio North West                  1146

Connect FM (was Connect FM and Lite 106.8FM)   41

Radio Essex DAB                               57

Radio Exe                                           24

Fire Radio                                           46

Fire Radio South Coast                      4

3FM                                                     26

Capital Birmingham                            440

Capital East Midlands                         480

Capital London                                    1999

Capital Manchester                             523

Capital North East                               500

Capital North West and Wales            178

Capital South Coast                            189

Capital Yorkshire                                1052

Capital XTRA (London)                      323

Heart Cambridgeshire                        244

Heart East Anglia                                312

Heart Essex                                        418

Heart Four Counties                           514

Heart Kent                                           383

Heart London                                      1448

Heart North East                                 313

Heart North West                                565

Heart Scotland                                    480

Heart Solent                                        289

Heart South Wales                              529

Heart South West                               396

Heart Cornwall                                    99

Heart Sussex                                      417

Heart Thames Valley                          338

Heart West Country                            676

Heart West Midlands                          701

LBC London (ILR)                               1116

LBC 97.3                                             967

LBC News 1152                                  334

Smooth Radio Cambridgeshire          53

Smooth Radio Devon                         29

Smooth Radio East Anglia                  50

Smooth Radio Essex                          28

Smooth Radio Four Counties             65

Smooth Radio Kent                            38

Smooth Radio London                        742

Smooth Radio Midlands                     865

Smooth Radio West Midlands            468

Smooth Radio North West &Wales    73

Smooth Radio Scotland                      323

Smooth Radio Solent                          68

Smooth Radio South Wales               55

Smooth Radio Sussex                        49

Smooth Radio Thames Valley            40

Smooth Radio West Country              109

XFM London                                       417

XFM Manchester                                298

XFM Scotland                                     39

IOW Radio                                          43

107 JACK fm Berkshire (was Reading 107 FM)       18

JACKfm Oxfordshire                          93

JACKfm 2 Oxford (was Glide FM 107.9)      41

106 JACKfm (Oxford)                        65

Kingdom FM                                       58

kmfm                                                  185

Lincs FM 102.2                                   302

Lincs FM Group Yorkshire                 300

Dearne FM                                          47

KCFM 99.8                                         92

Ridings FM                                          44

Rother FM                                           30

Trax FM                                              87

2BR                                                     56

Minster FM                                          59

Mix 96                                                 45

Spire FM                                             36

Spirit FM                                             55

Star North East                                   54

97.2 Stray FM                                     48

Sun FM                                               75

Wessex FM                                         54

Yorkshire Coast Radio                        53

Radio Mansfield 103.2                        37

Manx Radio                                        39

Original 106 (Aberdeen)                     81

Gem 106 (East Midlands)                   461

Free Radio (West Midlands)               735

Free Radio FM (West Midlands)        660

Free Radio 80s (West Midlands)        113

Free Radio (Birmingham & Black Country)   407

Free Radio FM (Birmingham & Black Country) (was BRMB and Beacon)  380

Free Radio 80s (Birmingham & Black Country)        51

Free Radio (Coventry & Warwickshire)         133

Free Radio FM (Coventry & Warwickshire) (was Mercia)    107

Free Radio 80s (Coventry & Warwickshire)  35

Free Radio FM (Herefordshire & Worcestershire) (was Wyvern)     90

Free Radio (Shropshire)                     93

Free Radio FM (Shropshire) (was Beacon)   81

Free Radio 80s (Shropshire)              19

Palm FM                                             38

Radio Plymouth                                  44

Premier Christian Radio                     149

Q Radio Network                                117

Oak FM                                               28

107.6 Banbury Sound                         18

Rugby FM                                           20

96.2 Touch FM – Coventry                 22

Touch FM Staffs                                 30

102 Touch FM – Warks Worcs Cotswolds     44

96.2 The Revolution                            33

Southend & Chelmsford Radio           52

107.5 Sovereign Radio                       21

Sunrise Radio                                     259

Time FM 106.6                                   23

Channel 103 FM                                 50

Island FM 104.7                                  35

106.3 Bridge FM                                 42

Radio Carmarthenshire and Scarlet FM        38

Radio Ceredigion                                16

Nation Hits! (was Nation 80s)             42

Nation Radio                                       174

102.5 Radio Pembrokeshire               45

The Bee                                              55

Total Eagle                                          130

96.4 Eagle Radio                                129

Eagle Extra                                         3

KL.FM 96.7                                         49

Pirate FM                                            166

107.6 Juice FM                                   207

Peak 107 FM                                      98

The Pulse                                            139

Pulse 2                                                26

Signal 107                                           46

Signal One                                          268

Signal Two                                          78

Swansea Sound – 1170 MW               68

96.4 FM The Wave                             130

U105                                                   193

Radio Wave 96.5 FM                          76

102.4 Wish/107.2 Wire/107.4 Tower FM        146

107.4 Tower FM                                 37

107.2 Wire FM                                    54

102.4 Wish FM                        56