Rajar results – Q4 2015 headlines: Commercial radio overtakes BBC for the first time in 15 years


The RAJAR radio listening figures for Q4 2015 have landed – and it’s great news for radio in general, and commercial radio in particular. Carat’s radio experts pick out the main headlines below.

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  • Another great set of results for the Q4 2015 RAJAR with weekly radio listening numbers staying strong at 90% of the population. This is up by approximately 386,000 adults quarter on quarter.
  • Commercial radio overtakes BBC for the first time in 15 years. Commercial radio reaches 35.1m listeners up 2.2% YoY, whilst BBC reaches 34.9m listeners. However BBC are still ahead in terms of share in listening with 52.8% compared to commercial radio listening share at 44.3%.
  • Share of all radio listening via a digital platform now stands at 41.7%, increasing from 37.9% from the previous quarter.
  • Global Radio remains the best performing national network with a weekly reach of 22.5 million (up 1.7% QoQ), followed by the full Bauer portfolio reaching 16.5m (down -0.5% QoQ) and BBC Radio 2 (up 0.5% QoQ) reaching 15.5m.
  • Digital listening platforms – DAB, significantly the most popular device, continues to grow, up 9% YoY. DTV listening continues to slowly grow (+6%). Online listening has grown by 10% YoY, whilst radio listening via mobile phone and tablet is up a massive 20% YoY.
  • Capital overtakes Kiss to become the number one commercial radio station in London. Capital London has a weekly reach of 2.077m whilst Kiss London has a weekly reach of 2.015m.
  • Dave Berry and Lisa Snowdon keep their ‘No1 Breakfast London Show’ crown with 1.08m weekly listeners, although Lisa Snowdon has since left the breakfast show after more than seven years.
  • The return of Chris Moyles to breakfast gives Radio X – formerly Xfm – a 39% boost in listeners in London. This is the station’s strongest numbers since Q1 2007 when Alex Zane was the presenter. This is Radio X’s first Rajar so figures are being compared to Xfm.
  • Global radio end 2015 with a strong national performance with the top four largest national stations. Heart is on top form hitting a new national record, reaching a weekly audience of 9.2m (up 1.3% YoY), followed by Capital (+6.4% YoY), then Smooth and Classic both reaching over 5.5m weekly listeners.
  • Bauer Media’s Kiss Network performs strongly with a 9.9% YoY increase, reaching an audience of 5.4m compared to 4.9m at the end of 2014.
  • TalkSPORT continues to perform well with over 3m listeners up 1.8% YoY, with a 84% male audience. The expansion with TalkSPORT 2 should hopefully keep the station the destination for sports fans.

Tune in later for our more detailed analysis of the results!

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