Tuning in to the latest RAJAR results: Q1 2018


RAJAR’s latest results announced 49.2 million adults, or 90% of the adult (15+) UK population, tuned in to their selected radio stations each week in the first quarter of 2018. This is up by approximately 900,000 adults on the same quarter of the previous Year (Q1, 2017). This means the total average number of weekly hours listened to radio for this quarter is 1.026 billion – and on average a listener tunes into 20.8 hours of live radio per week.

RAJAR Radio Radio Advertising

More than 3 in 5 adults aged 15+ are listening to radio via a digital platform. With 34 million people tuning in to radio via a digitally enabled receiver (DAB, DTV, Online) each week – that’s 63% of the population that are tuning into digital radio every week!

The share of all radio listening via a digital platform now stands at 50.9 % - this is up 8% year on year.

The breakdown of where people listen is also changing;

  • 60% of people listen to radio in their homes
  • 24% of people listen in their cars
  • 16% of people listen at work.

 In an average week, digital listening accounts for 518 million hours; DAB has a 72% share of digital listening hours, DTV 9% and Online 19%.

Personalised radio listening and listening on the move is also becoming more apparent. People are consuming media in new ways and digital is becoming ever more prominent in our everyday lives.

Dax, Instream and other digital streaming platforms are all helping in amplifying this, making it key for clients to include such platforms within their radio schedules.

  • 8% of adults claim to listen to radio via a mobile phone or tablet at least once a month, with 36.5% 15-24 year olds leading the way.
  • 43% of 15-24 year olds also claim to receive social updates about their favourite radio station/presenter.
  • 31% of adult social media users claim to receive updates about their favourite radio station/presenter.

Commercial radio has achieved its highest reach on record in this quarter, with market leaders Global Radio and Bauer Radio acquiring a shared reach of over 41 million listeners.

Global, top of the rankings, saw its weekly reach increase 2.1% on last quarter and 4.4% year-on-year. Bauer was less lucky as its reach declined -1.7% quarter-on-quarter; nevertheless, it also saw a healthy yearly increase of 3.2%.

Gemma McMorrow, Group Head of Radio & OOH at Amplifi commented: “Radio has recorded it’s ever highest reach proving that despite this highly competitive media landscape radio is in a solid place. This high reach indicates that listeners want something more than just music, they want content as well as presenters they can interact and form a bond with. For advertisers, this provides a fantastic opportunity.”

Global saw big gains with its LBC Network (up 7.1% quarter on quarter) and Capital XTRA (up 5.9%).

Heart Extra, however, continued to decline, losing nearly 8,000 weekly listeners (-1.6% Q on Q).

Bauer’s three most popular stations all saw small Quarter declines, with Bauer City Network, Kiss Network and Absolute Radio Network down -1%, -0.8% and -3.2%, respectively.

Bauer’s worst performer was The Hits, down -9.8% quarter on quarter and -14.4% YoY - the biggest yearly decline across all stations.

In more positive news: Bauer’s Magic Soul was up 17.7% this quarter and Absolute 80s up 5.8%.

Outside of Bauer and Global, TalkSPORT's Virgin Radio suffered with a -11.6% decline, although the station, which relaunched in 2016, was up 14.5% year on year

As we continuously look to embrace the digital platforms provided in an ever-growing digital world, it’s good to see that commercial radio is still being embraced and continues to break records.  

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