Rajar Q3 2016: Round-up

27 Oct 2016  |  Newsline Staff 
Rajar Q3 2016: Round-up

As Rajar publishes its third quarter results for the radio market, Newsline presents a full round-up for the national stations and networks and the digital and breakfast markets

National stations and networks

A 1.5% increase in weekly reach over the quarter cemented Global Radio's position as the best performing network in terms of weekly reach with 23 million listeners, followed by Bauer Radio with a little under 17.9 million.

Within Global's portfolio, new stations Chill (+75.6%) and The Arrow (+35.7%), alongside Smooth Extra (+8.4%) recorded the biggest increases in weekly reach over the period, while Classic FM and Smooth Radio Network, both down -4.2%, came off worst.

Bauer's best performing stations included Absolute Radio (+21%) and Mellow Magic (+11.6%), while Kiss (-10%) and Absolute 80s (-7.8%) recorded the biggest declines within the network.

BBC stations posted a mixed bag of results with Radio 3 (-10.2%) and Radio 5 Live (-6.1%) taking the biggest hits over the period; however Radio 1 was up 4.4%, 6 Music up 3.4% and Radio 5 Live Sports Extra up a massive 22.2% - no doubt benefiting from 2016's Olympic Games.

Virgin Radio, which was revived earlier this year, recorded one of the bigger declines in weekly reach of all recorded stations, down -15.6% period on period, while TalkSPORT was down -13.1% and Sunrise Radio National down -16%.

Over the year, Global and Bauer stations performed particularly well, with stand-out figures belonging to Bauer-owned Absolute (+24.4%) and Kisstory (+23.3%), and Global's LBC Network (+21.6%), Radio X Network (+20.6%) and Capital XTRA (20.4%).

Read the full breakdown here.

Digital

59% of the population now listen to digital radio each week, with 32 million of those tuning in via a digitally enabled receiver (DAB, DTV, online).

The share of all radio listening via a digital platform stood at 45.5% in Q3 - comprised of DAB (32.3%), DTV (5.2%) and listening online or via an app (8%).

Read the full breakdown here.

Breakfast

National

The summer holiday season witnessed its usual declines in radio listening, with nearly all national breakfast shows recording quarter-on-quarter dips.

BBC Radio 2, presented by long-running favourite Chris Evans, was down -4.4%, and down -3.9% year-on-year. Still, the station is the stand-out winner with more than 9 million listeners tuning in every morning.

In second position, BBC Radio 4 was down -3.4% to 7.1 million listeners - surprising, given there was so much to discuss following the UK's decision to leave the EU. However, despite the summer decline, the station was up 5.1% year-on-year.

With 5.2 million fans remaining, Nick Grimshaw's BBC Radio 1 slot was also down in Q3. A -3.4% dip was in-line with other stations, so perhaps not much to worry about - but the station was down -9.1% year-on-year, cementing a general and well-documented decline.

The three worst performing stations in the breakfast market were TalkSPORT (down -18.1%), Kiss (-14.1%) and BBC Radio 3 (down -22.9%).

The drop in listeners for talkSPORT is perhaps explained by the addition of new stations in its network - including talkSPORT2, talkRADIO and the relaunched Virgin.

Perhaps helping to sooth stressed Remainers, the best performing breakfast show during the summer months was Classic FM - up 3.6% to 1.76 million.

London

Mimicking the nationals, the majority of London breakfast stations waved goodbye to a chunk of their listeners over the summer period. Absolute Radio, however, managed to increase its weekly reach by almost a third over the year.

As well as recording the biggest yearly increase across all London breakfast slots (30.3%), Absolute Radio was also one of the few stations to boost its weekly reach over the period, up 5.4% to 451,000.

A -15.8% decline in weekly reach saw Global-owned LBC lost its place as the third most-popular London breakfast slot, replaced by Bauer's Magic which was up 6.2%. LBC News was also down over the quarter (-11%), but up an impressive 25.8% year on year.

Smooth Radio (-18.4%), BBC Radio London (-17.7%) and Radio X London (-16.5%) also took big hits over the period - and the year (-19.9%, -21%, -15.7%, respectively).

Despite a -8.1% period decline, Capital London remains the most popular London breakfast slot with 1.04 million listeners tuning in each week. The station was also up 6.2% year on year.

Bauer's Kiss kept its second position also; however weekly reach was down both over the period (-7.4%) and year (-9.8%).

Similarly, Heart maintained its spot as the third most-most popular breakfast station in London - as well as recording an impressive 25.3% increase in weekly reach over the year.

However, no station was a match for Premier Christian Radio, which pulled in an extra 71.4% of listeners compared with the previous quarter and almost doubled its audience year on year. 72,000 people now tune in each week.

RAJAR Q3 2016 National Stations Breakfast Weekly (000s) Reach
Station Group Q3 2015 Q2 2016 Q3 2016 QoQ % Change Q2 2016 on Q3 2016 YoY % Change Q3 2015 on Q3 2016
BBC Radio 2 (06.30-09.30) BBC 9,422 9,472 9,058 -4.4 -3.9
BBC Radio 4 (06.00-09.00) BBC 6,758 7,348 7,100 -3.4 5.1
BBC Radio 1 (06.30-10.00) BBC 5,777 5,433 5,249 -3.4 -9.1
BBC Radio FIVE LIVE (06.00-10.00) BBC 2,224 2,398 2,297 -4.2 3.3
Absolute Radio Network (06.00-10.00) Absolute 1,671 1,923 1,949 1.4 16.6
Kiss (06.00-10.00) Bauer 2,055 2,136 1,834 -14.1 -10.8
Classic FM (06.00-09.00) Global 1,658 1,704 1,765 3.6 6.5
talkSPORT (06.00-10.00) talkSPORT 1,396 1,570 1,286 -18.1 -7.2
*Magic Network (06.00-10.00) Bauer n/a 1,354 1,259 -7.0 n/a
Radio X Network UK (was XFM Network UK) (6.30-10.00) Global 471 694 703 1.3 49.3
BBC Radio 3 (06.30-09.00) BBC 539 751 579 -22.9 7.4
Source: RAJAR
* Station changed reporting survey period
RAJAR Q3 2016 London Stations Breakfast Show Weekly (000s) Reach
Station Group Q3 2015 Q2 2016 Q3 2016 QoQ % Change Q2 2016 on Q3 2016 YoY % Change Q3 2015 on Q3 2016
Capital London (06.00-10.00) Global 980 1,133 1,041 -8.1 6.2
Kiss (London) (06.00-10.00) Bauer 946 921 853 -7.4 -9.8
Magic (London) (06.00-10.00) Bauer 771 691 734 6.2 -4.8
Heart London FM (06.00-09.00) Global 514 694 644 -7.2 25.3
LBC 97.3 (07.00-10.00) Global 595 741 624 -15.8 4.9
Absolute Radio (London) (06.00-10.00) Absolute 346 428 451 5.4 30.3
BBC Radio London (was BBC London 94.9) (07.00-10.00) BBC 305 293 241 -17.7 -21.0
LBC London News (was LBC News 1152) (07.00-10.00) Global 186 263 234 -11.0 25.8
Capital XTRA (London) (06.00-10.00) Global 236 253 231 -8.7 -2.1
Radio X London (was XFM London) (06.30-10.00) Global 216 218 182 -16.5 -15.7
Gold London (06.00-10.00) Global 123 142 141 -0.7 14.6
Smooth Radio (London) (06.00-10.00) Real and Smooth Radio Ltd 311 305 249 -18.4 -19.9
Premier Christian Radio (07.00-09.00) Premier Christian Radio 37 42 72 71.4 94.6
Source: RAJAR

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