RAJAR results show another strong quarter for radio - our detailed analysis


The RAJAR results for Q1 2015 show radio has had yet another strong quarter with listener numbers staying strong.

Jenny Cornish Jenny Cornish Carat Blog Editor Carat UK Radio digital radio rajar radio advertising
For a chance to win a signed Arsenal Shirt and Concert Tickets (courtesy of talkSPORT and Global), please tweet @CaratUK a comment with a key takeout from the Q1 2015 RAJAR using the hashtag #CaratRajarBlog.
The comments with the most retweets and favourites will win so get all your colleagues involved!
The RAJAR results show a quarter of  89% of the UK population is tuning in to the radio every week, listening to an average of 21.3 hours per week.
Flora Williams, Nadia Khashem, Joe Buckee and Monica Rodrigues, from Carat's broadcast team, deliver a detailed analysis of the results. 
This RAJAR highlights that the digitalisation is not showing any signs of slowing down with 54% of the population tuning into digital radio every week. London is leading this trend with digital listening overtaking the analogue share for the first time.
  • National Market
Top 10 commercial stations – Reach (000’s) and YoY performance (%)
  1. Heart Network (UK) 9.0m (-1.5%)
  2. Bauer City Network 7.0m (+7.3)
  3. Capital Network (UK) 7.0m (-4.4%)
  4. Kiss Network 6.1m (+6.5)
  5. Classic FM 5.5m (+4.1%)
  6. Absolute Radio Network 4.8m (+11.7)
  7. Smooth Radio Network (UK) 4.8m (+10.7%)
  8. Magic Network 3.6m (+29%)
  9. talkSPORT 3.2m (+1.6%)
  10. LBC Network (UK) 1.4m (+10.4%)
Q1 2015 sees Total Global radio maintain its dominance of the national radio market with a stable 21.2m listeners followed closely by Bauer with 16m listeners.
Heart radio network, although it has seen small declines of 1.5% in reach, continues to be the largest radio network reaching over 9m listeners each week. Despite also seeing YoY declines in listeners, Capital maintains second place.
Classic FM reports an increase in listeners (up 4.1% YoY) with both Tim Lihoreau’s breakfast show up YoY and John Suchet’s mid-morning show up QoQ contributing toward an achievement of 5.5m listeners.
Elsewhere, Bauer's Absolute recorded a significant 14.1% QoQ rise driven by the group's Absolute 80s which was up 10.3% during the same period - and up 25.5% YoY. The 2014 station consolidation has seen Bauer's The Hits leap 23.8% QoQ and a huge 85.7% year on year.
talkSPORT has continued to do remarkably well with an 8% increase in listeners and hours QoQ. The increase of 1.6% YoY indicates a strong year to come and the Rugby World Cup this year will be a telling comparison to the Football World Cup in 2014. talkSPORT currently reaches over 3.2m listeners and is set to increase with the launch of sister stations, including talkSPORT 2, next year.
  • Digital
Top 10 digital commercial stations – Reach (000’s) and YoY performance (%)
  1. Absolute 80s; 1.5m (+36.2%)
  2. Five Live Sports Extra; 1.4m (+63.9%)
  3. Kisstory; 1.1m (+21.2%)
  4. Kerrang!; 0.92m (-5.8%)
  5. Heat; 0.90m (+15.6%)
  6. The Hits; 0.68m (-28.3%)
  7. Absolute Radio 90s; 0.58m (-26.1%)
  8. Absolute Classic Rock; 0.52m (+37.6%)
  9. Jazz FM; 0.46m (-8.6%)
  10. Kiss Fresh; 0.42m (+1.0%)
Digital listening continues to dominate the headlines this RAJAR with over half (54%) of the UK adult population listening to radio via a digital platform.
28.6 million adults now tune in to radio via a digitally enabled receiver (a 2.9% increase QoQ) each week, with the share of all radio listening via a digital platform is up 8.2% YoY now standing at 39.6%.
The Digital listening share in the London ‘ITV region’ has beaten analogue, a landmark moment. As Londoners tend to be the digital forerunners of the UK this indicates a future trend across the UK.  The continuing increase of digital listening shows the achievability of the 50% listening target set by Government for a radio switchover.
There continues to be a strong performance from the DAB platform which remains the most popular device with an increase in share by 8% YoY to 25.9% of all listening. Digital listening has also increased by 5% YoY to 17% of all digital listening but listening via TV has fallen behind to 12%.
  • The London Market
Top 5 Commercial London stations – Reach and YoY performance (%)
  1. Magic: 1.9m (-1.6%)
  2. KISS 100 FM: 1.8m (+2.3%)
  3. Capital FM: 1.7m (-6%)
  4. Heart London: 1.5m (-15.2%)
  5. Classic FM: 1.4m (+13%)
In London Bauer’s Magic overtakes KISS, Capital and Heart to take the number one spot, up 8.4% QoQ. KISS follows in a close second having seen a -1.5% drop QoQ however sees an increase of 2.3% YoY. Capital drops to third place, down -6% YoY, although welcome a less severe decline than in Q4 2014. Heart also drops to fourth place down YoY 15.2% whilst Classic FM keeps its position at number five with 1.4m listeners, up 13% YoY.
Top 5 London Breakfast stations – Reach and YoY performance (%)
  1. KISS 100 FM: 0.879m (+10%)
  2. Capital: 0.872m (-5.5%)
  3. Magic: 0.747m (-16.5%)
  4. Heart London 0.627 (-19.5%)
  5. LBC 97.3 0.547 (-15.5%)
KISS breakfast DJ’s Rickie, Melvin and Charlie take the number one spot from Capital’s Dave Berry and Lisa Snowden for the first time. KISS were one of the few breakfast shows to see an increase year on year. Magic London is in third place losing -15.5% QoQ, followed by Heart’s Jamie Theakston and Emma Bunton in fourth place.
  • BBC Radio
BBC Stations – Reach and YoY performance (%)
  1. BBC Radio 2: 15.0m (-3.1%)
  2. BBC Radio 4: 10.8m (-0.6%)
  3. BBC Radio 1: 9.6m (-7.9%)
  4. BBC Radio 5 Live: 5.7m (-6.8%)
  5. BBC Radio 4 Extra: 2.1m (+30.5%)
  6. BBC Radio 3: 2.0m (-0.1%)
  7. BBC 6 Music: 2.0m (+7.1%)
  8. BBC World Service: 1.3m (-3.8%)
  9. BBC 5 Live Sports Extra: 1.3m (+63.8%)
  10. BBC Radio Scotland 0.9m (+0.8%)
Overall the BBC stations reach see a slight drop at -1.25% YoY with 34m listeners tuning in however this is a 0.2% increase QoQ. Radio 2 attracts just over 15 million listeners with a 1.3% decline QoQ however remains the most popular choice across the country. Following DJ Chris Evan’s record last year his shows is down to 9.46m from 9.83m listeners. Radio 4 remains steady with the Today breakfast programme reaching just under 7.1n listeners.
Radio 1’s audience falls below the 10m mark with a record low for breakfast presenter Nick Grimshaw at 5.5m listeners, however 90% of this loss was from the over 30s which is welcomed by the Radio 1 Controller, Ben Cooper. Radio 1 were recently criticised for becoming too old and have recently been focussing on its core targeting listenership of 16-29 year olds.
BBC Radio 4 Extra over takes Radio 3 and Radio 6 Music to become the most popular digital only station. 


Jenny Cornish Jenny Cornish Carat Blog Editor Carat UK Radio digital radio rajar radio advertising
^Back to Top