Digital Delight for Radio
The latest set of quarterly RAJAR figures for Q1 2016 were released at the end of last week and while there were no major changes, it is obvious that commercial radio is still in a very healthy and progressive position.
What is clear is that digital listening is increasing at the expense of analogue platforms with more than 51% of all radio listening now taking place on a digital platform, (leaving AM/FM with the remaining 48%) and with the number of cars being fitted with digital radios continuing to grow, this increase is unlikely to slow down. Listening through DAB radio sets accounts for 70% of all digital hours, while listening via digital TV currently represents 12% and listening online is at 18%.
In total, nearly 90% of adults in the UK listen to the radio at some point during the week. That is 47.8 million people – 35m of which listen to commercial radio every week.
Commercially, Global Radio remain the largest network reaching over 22m adults per week with their Heart, Smooth, Capital and Gold Networks. They have also had a success with the first set of official Radio X figures. The brand which was formally branded as XFM and which is now the home of The Chris Moyles Show, was up in terms of reach by over 40% year on year at 1.24m adults.
The only fly in the ointment for Global this quarter is Classic FM, which has seen drops in both their Quarter on Quarter (7.2%) and YoY (7.3%) audiences. This means declines in share and average listening hours, which positions it behind the Kiss Network within the national marketplace.
Bauer have some great highlights this quarter. They now have the Number 1 and 2 national commercial breakfast shows on Kiss and Absolute which is even more of an achievement given they were up against Chris Moyles on Radio X. The folks at Planet Rock will also be very happy with a 17.6% increase in reach over the quarter. The station currently records a healthy average of 8 hours per listener which is up 36.5% year on year.
A couple of negatives for Bauer include Kerrang which took a tumble this quarter, down -9.5% to 787,000 weekly listeners, and The Hits was down -14.7% to 693,000.
Looking forward across the next 6 months it will be interesting to see how the newly re-launched Virgin Radio does against the strong competition of Absolute Radio and how the 16 new digital stations including Magic Chilled and TalkRadio fare.