Rajar Q4 2016: Round-up

09 Feb 2017  |  Newsline Staff 
Rajar Q4 2016: Round-up

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

>>>Click here for industry analysis from Carat, MC&C and Total Media<<<

National stations and networks

A -1.2% decrease in weekly reach over the final quarter of 2016 was not enough to dethrone Global Radio as the best performing UK radio network.

With 22.7 million listeners, the network has a lead of more than 5 million over second-place holder Bauer Radio - which recorded a reach of almost 17.6 million (down -1.5% QoQ).

Over the last year, however, both networks have boosted reach, with Global up 1.3% and Bauer up 6.8%.

Within Global's portfolio, Chill and Smooth Extra recorded the biggest declines over the period, down -35.9% and -24.3%, respectively, while Heart Extra was down -34.2%. However, another new addition, The Arrow, was up 25%.

Meanwhile, Bauer's best performing stations included Absolute 80s (+4.9%) and Classic Rock (+8.8%), while Absolute Radio nose-dived -19%, Kiss Fresh -19.5% and The Hits -18%.

BBC stations posted a mixed bag of results with Radio 3 up 7.2% after a bad Q3 and Radio 1 down -3.2%. meanwhile, Radio 4 was up just 0.9% and BBC Radio 6 Music down -0.6 (although the digital-only station was up a healthy 5.8% year on year).

Virgin Radio, which was revived last year, recorded one of the bigger declines in weekly reach of all recorded stations in the last quarter, down -15.6% period on period, but Q4 saw a much smaller decline as the station settles. Down -6.1%, the station now has 324,000 listeners.

Following a tough Q3, Sunrise was up a very healthy 41.4% - taking its reach to 461,000 - while talkSPORT boosted its reach by 5.3%.

Click here for the full round-up

Digital

The most popular digital-only station is BBC 6 Music which recorded a weekly reach of 2.33 million listeners, followed by BBC Radio 4 Extra with a weekly reach of 2.18million listeners. Absolute 80s re-established its position as the most popular commercial digital-only stations with 1.53 million listeners, with Kisstory taking the second spot with a weekly reach of 1.4m listeners.

National commercial digital listening hours continue to grow increasing by 21% year-on-year to account for almost three quarters (73%) of all national commercial listening, following the launch of the second national DAB commercial network broadcasting 19 national commercial stations in March 2016.

Click here for the full round-up

Breakfast

National

Following the summer slow-down in Q3 2016, most national breakfast stations recorded some growth in the final quarter of last year. However, this was partly offset by some year-on-year declines.

BBC Radio 2, presented by Chris Evans, was up 1.7% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) but was down -2.4% year-on-year (YoY). Evans has little to worry about, however, as an enormous 9.2 million listeners continue to tune in, making him the king of breakfast banter on the airwaves.

In second position, BBC Radio 4 performed well: the station was up 4.9% QoQ and up 6% YoY taking it to 7.5 million listeners.

Meanwhile, with almost 5.4 million fans, it's safe to say that Nick Grimshaw's BBC Radio 1 slot is doing OK, despite the ongoing criticism and slightly yo-yo-ing figures.

The slot was up 2.2% on the third quarter, but was down -8.5% over the year. Overall, however, the youth-orientated presenter is still drawing in large audiences despite tough competition from online platforms and changing media habits amongst young people.

For commercial listening, Kiss did well - up 20.2% on Q3 taking its audience to more than 2.2 million, while Magic was up 2.9% in Q4 to almost 1.3 million.

Rather surprisingly, given the Christmas period and its penchant for choral music, Classic FM was down -1.5% to 1.74 million. Over the last year, the station was down -2.5%.

London

There were some steep declines matched by some equally steep gains in radio listening for the UK's capital in Q4 2016.

At the top of the chart, Kiss London was up 15.2% QoQ, taking its audience up to 983,000.

Meanwhile, second-place holder Capital London was down -15.4% (and down -18.4% YoY) to 881,000. The show has dropped 200,000 listeners in the last year.

Magic London was up 5% on Q3, but took a -17.5% hit over the year, while LBC, which continues to sign new (and controversial) presenters, was up 16.2% QoQ and 4.3% YoY. The station has 725,000 listeners.

It was a bad quarter for Heart London FM, which was down almost -19% QoQ and a little over -29% YoY. The station has shed 217,000 listeners over the last year.

A much better quarter for Capital XTRA (London), however, with the station up more than 38% QoQ and up almost 16% YoY. Meanwhile, capitalising on the birthday of its saviour, Premier Christian Radio was up 40.3% in Q4 to 101,000.

RAJAR Q4 2016 National Stations Breakfast Weekly (000s) Reach
Station Group Q4 2015 Q3 2016 Q4 2016 QoQ % Change Q3 2016 on Q4 2016 YoY % Change Q4 2015 on Q4 2016
BBC Radio 2 (06.30-09.30) BBC 9,439 9,058 9,214 1.7 -2.4
BBC Radio 4 (06.00-09.00) BBC 7,025 7,100 7,449 4.9 6.0
BBC Radio 1 (06.30-10.00) BBC 5,868 5,249 5,367 2.2 -8.5
BBC Radio FIVE LIVE (06.00-10.00) BBC 2,292 2,297 2,226 -3.1 -2.9
Kiss (06.00-10.00) Bauer 2,195 1,834 2,205 20.2 0.5
Absolute Radio Network (06.00-10.00) Absolute 1,797 1,949 1,959 0.5 9.0
Classic FM (06.00-09.00) Global 1,783 1,765 1,738 -1.5 -2.5
*Magic Network (06.00-10.00) Bauer n/a 1,259 1,296 2.9 n/a
talkSPORT (06.00-10.00) talkSPORT 1,295 1,286 1,256 -2.3 -3.0
Radio X Network UK (was XFM Network UK) (6.30-10.00) Global 669 703 717 2.0 7.2
BBC Radio 3 (06.30-09.00) BBC 538 579 647 11.7 20.3
Source: RAJAR
* Station changed reporting survey period
RAJAR Q4 2016 London Stations Breakfast Show Weekly (000s) Reach
Station Group Q4 2015 Q3 2016 Q4 2016 QoQ % Change Q3 2016 on Q4 2016 YoY % Change Q4 2015 on Q4 2016
Kiss (London) (06.00-10.00) Bauer 1,089 853 983 15.2 -9.7
Capital London (06.00-10.00) Global 1,080 1,041 881 -15.4 -18.4
Magic (London) (06.00-10.00) Bauer 935 734 771 5.0 -17.5
LBC 97.3 (07.00-10.00) Global 695 624 725 16.2 4.3
Heart London FM (06.00-09.00) Global 741 644 524 -18.6 -29.3
Absolute Radio (London) (06.00-10.00) Absolute 422 451 378 -16.2 -10.4
Capital XTRA (London) (06.00-10.00) Global 276 231 319 38.1 15.6
Smooth Radio (London) (06.00-10.00) Real and Smooth Radio Ltd 399 249 307 23.3 -23.1
Radio X London (was XFM London) (06.30-10.00) Global 300 182 224 23.1 -25.3
LBC London News (was LBC News 1152) (07.00-10.00) Global 227 234 175 -25.2 -22.9
BBC Radio London (was BBC London 94.9) (07.00-10.00) BBC 228 241 166 -31.1 -27.2
Gold London (06.00-10.00) Global 148 141 123 -12.8 -16.9
Premier Christian Radio (07.00-09.00) Premier Christian Radio 93 72 101 40.3 8.6
Source: RAJAR

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