Digital radio demonstrates some real success stories

26 Oct 2012  |  Stacey Pratt 

Stacey Pratt, associate director and head of radio branded content at MediaCom, reviews the latest set of RAJAR results...

A fairly mixed bag of results this RAJAR, with some strong audience growth for some and others wavering.

Clear winners were talkSport, that came back from their wobble last quarter with a 3.4% reach increase - not altogether that surprising given the huge 'Summer of Sport' we've just had, but solid results nonetheless.

In London, Bauer will be happy that Magic has taken the crown as the largest station in reach and share of hours. Kiss similarly, saw 12% growth in reach. Capital keep their Breakfast dominance as top reaching show.

Digital radio demonstrates some real success stories too - the BBC's 6 Music audience growing a whopping 32% year on year (and +18% this quarter). In commercial radio, digital-only station Absolute 80s moved into 2nd place after Smash Hits, with other sub-brands in Absolute's portfolio showing growth (60s, 70s, 90s and 00s) despite the main station dropping this quarter. On the retro theme, new station Smooth 70s also saw an impressive first set of results, reaching 749,000. Jazz too saw it's highest ever reach this quarter.

Listening online steadily grew too - with Radioplayer and apps making radio brands more accessible. Online listening sits at 4.2% versus 3.7% the same time last year - so growing from a small base. The lion's share for digital listening continues to be DAB (65% of all digital listening) - with four in 10 households owning a DAB radio.

The Government's target for listening to reach 50%, before we can migrate all analogue radio to digital seems to be a slow burn but with recent reports suggesting that DAB retail sales are slowing, it means online, DTV and mobile listening growth will become more important to bolster DAB consumption. .

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