Tuning in to the Latest RAJAR Results: 2017 Q4


RAJAR’s latest results announced 48.9 million adults or 90% of the adult (15+) UK population tuned in to their selected radio stations each week in the final quarter of 2017. This is up by approximately 178,000 adults on the same quarter of the previous year (Q4, 2016). The total average number of weekly hours listened to radio for this quarter is 1.039 billion – and on average a listener tunes into 21.3 hours of live radio per week – great news for advertisers!

RAJAR radio advertising digital radio radio

More than 3 in 5 adults aged 15+ are listening to radio via a digital platform, with 34 million people now tuning in weekly to radio via a digitally enabled receiver (DAB, DTV, Online). Meaning 62% of the population tune into digital radio every week!

The share of all radio listening via a digital platform now stands at 49.9 % - this is up 9% year on year. The digital share is comprised of the following:

  • DAB share 36.3%
  • DTV 5.1%
  • Online or App 8.5%.

The breakdown of where people listen is also changing:

  • 60% of people listen to radio in their homes, up 1% on last quarter, with 24% of people listening in their cars and 16% at work.
  • In an average week, digital listening accounts for 518 million hours; DAB has a 73% share of digital listening hours, DTV 10% and Online 17%.
  • As mentioned last quarter, personalised radio listening and listening on the move is also becoming more apparent. Dax, Instream and other digital streaming platforms are all helping to amplify this, making it key for clients to include such platforms within their radio schedules.
  • 26% of adults listen to radio via a mobile phone or tablet and 35% of 15-24 year olds, also listening via the same platforms.

In terms of influence, we know that 42% of 15-24 year olds claim to receive social updates about their favourite radio station/presenter, and that figure stands at 31% for all adults.

In the last quarter of 2017, both Bauer and Global reported declines in weekly reach, while BBC stations posted largely positive results. Global's Capital Network was down -4.1%, while Heart Network was down -5.1% to 8.2m. However, new station Heart 80s was up 7.4%, and Classic FM up 4.4% to almost 5.7m. For Bauer, the likes of Kisstory was down -6.0%, and Magic down -3.1%. However, Bauer's Absolute Radio Network was up 4.4% to 4.7m, and Kiss Fresh up a massive 11.4%. As you can see, a mixed bag of results for both parties.

In terms of reach, Global Radio's reach now amounts to more than 23 million, cementing them as the firm leaders in the market with 19.9% of the market. Bauer Radio’s reach is now totalling 17.8m, making them a close second.

Moving forwards, Toby Beresford, CEO of Rise.Global, believes that radio is about to encounter ‘the major tech disruption that the other human media have had for the last 10 years or so from YouTube and Facebook’.

He goes on to say that products such as Echo Dots and Amazon Echo’s are changing the way we are listening and ‘What Netflix has done to TV, Alexa will do to radio’.

Whilst we can look at this in a negative light; these new platforms are just allowing us to embrace the digital market and push media schedules further – challenging clients to be creative.

Standard radio airtime works for clients with its consistent messaging, however, digital platforms allow us to reach people on platforms and in places we would have never previously been able to reach.

RAJAR radio advertising digital radio radio
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