RAJAR Q1 RESULTS 2019

Welcome to the first RAJAR update of 2019, and what a year it’s been so far. Five months have flown by and it seems like spring has truly sprung. So in the spirit of bright positivity, please join us for a sun-lit stroll through the ups, the downs, the sidesteps and the turnarounds of the evergreen radio industry. Without further ado, here are the blooming figures!

Headline News for All Radio Listening

First things first: the radio industry is still shining.

89% of the entire population tune in to radio on an average week. That’s pretty remarkable really, superseding other traditional mediums like newspapers and TV, and vastly outstrips trendier upstart media outlets like Netflix.

That percentage breaks down into 48.9 million adults listening every week - of that figure:

  • 70% of people listen at home
  • 64% in the car
  • 25% listen elsewhere (by reach)

In terms of actual consumption, each person is tuning in for a huge 20.9 hours of live radio per week on average. An amazing figure, and listen-back services will add even more hours to that.

Finally, digital listening is still continuing to rise, and now 56.4% of the population listen via a digital device.



Commercial vs BBC

Commercial radio continues to grow its audience over the BBC. Since the last RAJAR report, commercial radio has expanded its reach. Full breakdown:

  • All radio reaches 48,945,000 per week
  • All commercial reaches 36,130,000 per week
  • All BBC reaches 34,436,000 per week


Figures by Group

The Wireless Group shows the greatest increase in reach this quarter, edging up from 4.8 million per week to 5 million.

Global leads the UK commercial radio market with 23.5 million weekly listeners.

Next is Bauer Media with 17.6 million per week.

And Wireless is in at third with 5 million.



The Brands and the Networks

The Magic Network have gained 200,000 listeners per week, while most stations have stayed fairly close to their numbers from late last year.

  1. Heart Brand - 9.6 million
  2. Heart Network - 8.5 million
  3. Capital Brand - 8.1 million
  4. Capital Network - 7.2 million
  5. Hits Radio Brand - 6.0 million
  6. Smooth Brand - 5.7 million
  7. Kiss Network - 5.2 million
  8. Smooth radio network - 5.0 million
  9. Absolute Radio Network - 4.7 million
  10. Magic Network - 4.1 million


The Nationals

Classic FM still sets the tune for the airwaves with a steady regular listenership of more than 5 million. Elsewhere, there are consistently strong listening figures for Classic, Magic and TalkSPORT, all increasing their weekly reach Q-on-Q.

  1. Classic FM - 5.2 million
  2. Kiss - 3.8 million
  3. Magic FM - 3.3 million
  4. TalkSPORT - 3.0 million
  5. Absolute - 2.4 million

In the Capital

In London, Capital remains number one, followed still by their main rival, Kiss. Elsewhere, there’s no change from last year’s Q4 figures, although Radio X have started to claw some of their listenership back.

  1. Capital London - 1.7 million
  2. Kiss London - 1.4 million
  3. Magic London - 1.5 million
  4. Heart London - 1.5 million
  5. LBC 97.3 - 1.1 million
  6. Smooth Radio London - 821,000
  7. Absolute London - 703,000
  8. LBC News London - 488,000
  9. Radio X - 363,000

North of the Border

Clyde 1 has finally overtaken Capital Scotland after a steady growth in 2018.

  1. Clyde 1 - 541,000
  2. Capital Scotland - 528,000
  3. Heart Scotland - 371,000
  4. Smooth Scotland - 357,000
  5. Forth 1 - 274,000


Regional Radio

Regional Brands/Stations by Reach:

  1. Smooth Radio North West - 1 million
  2. Capital Yorkshire - 961,000
  3. Heart North West - 678,000
  4. Heart West Midlands - 635,000
  5. Heart West Country - 589,000
  6. Capital East Midlands - 516,000
  7. Smooth Radio North East - 508,000
  8. Capital Birmingham - 469,000
  9. Heart Four Counties - 468,000
  10. Heart Yorkshire - 460,000
  11. Gem - 457,000
  12. Smooth Radio East Midlands - 455,000
  13. Capital Manchester - 435,000

DAB Brands

The big news this quarter is that we have hit record numbers of digital listening.

“The annual growth of 5.5 percentage points to 56.4% from 50.9% represents the strongest ever percentage point growth in digital listening platform share since records began.

Digital reach increased by over 2 million listeners to 36.3 million and overall digital listening grew by 55.9 million hours or by 10.7% year on year.” source. Radio Today.

Also Chris Evans on Virgin Radio has had a sterling first quarter with 1.3 million listeners turning in - an increase from 427,000 year on year. The new host of the Radio 2 breakfast show, Zoe Ball, has kept the audience there relatively steady in her first three months in the job. She recorded just over 9 million listeners in the first quarter of this year - very close to Evans' last set of figures.

Here are the top 5 digital brands:-

  1. Kisstory - 1.8 million
  2. Absolute 80s - 1.7 million
  3. Heart 80s - 1.4 million
  4. Virgin Radio - 1.3 million
  5. Planet Rock - 1.2 million
BY: Gavin Finney