Last year we saw a marginal increase in time spent listening by the younger audience, 15-19s, and this trend has continued again this year with time spent rising from 2.4 hrs to 2.47 hrs. Not a huge fluctuation, but unexpected nonetheless considering the wide range of options this audience looks to for listening to music. While overall time spent has remained pretty flat YOY, most age demographics have seen a drop: -9% YOY for 20-24s (3.4 hrs vs 3.7 hrs last year) and -3% YOY for 25-34s (3.4 hrs vs 3.7 hrs last year). This won’t come as much of a shock, as young audiences are becoming increasingly harder to reach using traditional media. Last year we saw 55-64s time spent listening drop by -7%; however this year we are only seeing -3% (4.7 hrs vs 4.9hrs last year).
Overall, we’ve seen a 1% drop in National Radio listenership YOY. These figures look quite static, but when we delve into the programme slots we can see what’s really been happening on a more granular level.
RTE Radio 1 remains the market leader with 23.5% market share. It’s the only national station to see growth, with its daily reach increasing 2 points to 25%; an increase of 48,000 daily listeners. Morning Ireland and Live Line were clear winners, with increases of 43,000 and 24,000 weekly listeners respectively.
The story is not so positive for the rest of the nationals: 2FM are down -43,000, Today FM -61,000 and Newstalk -25,000. 2FM and Newstalk are neck and neck with 10% daily reach each; while Today FM is in second place at 12%.
It is probably too early to be able to measure the effects of 2FM’s re-brand; their current market share is down -1% YOY to 6.1%, and we are not able to compare their new show Breakfast Republic YOY, however they are pulling in 162,000 weekly listeners. With the re-brand looking to pulling in more of the 15-34 market for 2FM, and if we delve deep into the quarter hour figures, the station has seen YOY gains for this 15-34 audience in both the Breakfast Republic show, and also Tracey Clifford’s afternoon show. Book on book, Louise McSharry has shown gains in listenership in her evening show which pulls in a niche, music-savvy audience.
Although their daily reach is matching that of 2FM, Newstalk’s market share has only declined 0.4%, now standing at 6.2%. They have lost listeners across the schedule but the biggest loss has been from Pat Kenny, at -16,000.
Today FM had the biggest loss of listeners on the national front last year, and this has continued again this year. Their market share now sits at 7.5%; down from 8.6% YOY. Both Ian Dempsey & Matt Cooper, have lost listeners; 14,000 and 21,000 respectively. However, Anton Savage’s time slot has seen the biggest drop, down -37,000 to 175,000 vs last year’s survey which would have represented Ray D’Arcy in that time slot (212,000).