Rajar Q1 2017: Round up

18 May 2017  |  David Pidgeon 
Rajar Q1 2017: Round up

As Rajar publishes its first 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

The majority of national stations saw weekly reach decline during the first quarter of 2017 - some much more than others - but the radio industry still continues to post healthy listening figures.

Total Global Radio (UK) maintains its lead in the rankings with almost 22.7 million loyal listeners each week - down just 0.3% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) and up 2.1% year-on-year (YoY).

Global's Heart Extra performed particularly well, up 20.6% YoY.

Bauer Radio's Total portfolio remains the second-best listened to with 17 million tuning in each week. While weekly reach was down -3.7% QoQ, it was also up 2% over the year.

With a few exceptions, all BBC stations recorded a decline in weekly reach over the quarter and the year.

Radio 5 Live Sports Extra came off worst - down -28.9% QoQ and -37.4% YoY - while Radio 1 was down -4.8% QoQ and -8.1% YoY.

Digital-only station BBC 6 Music was the only BBC station to record both quarterly and yearly boosts in listeners - up 0.9% and 5.1%, respectively.

Radio 4 (including 4 Extra), also managed to grow its weekly listener base by 5.4% over the year.

LBC Network performed well in the first quarter of the year and managed to grow it's weekly reach by 5.5%. Over the year, that rises to 15.5% - a total of 1.8 million listeners.

Bauer's Kisstory also bucked the trend with a 10.6% QoQ increase and 7.6% growth over the year - one of the few stations to record both quarterly and yearly gains.

The same can't be said for Bauer's Kerrang (-19.5% QoQ, -24.4% YoY) and Heat (-17.5% QoQ, -32.3% YoY), however, which both posted hefty declines in weekly reach.

Read the full article.

Digital

Almost 6 in 10 adults (aged 15+) currently listen to radio via a digital platform, according to the latest Rajar results for the first quarter of 2017.

In total, 32 million people now tune in to radio via a digitally enabled receiver - DAB, digital TV or online - each week.

In an average week, digital listening accounts for 483 million hours; DAB has a 71% share of digital listening hours, digital TV 12% and online 17%.

Read the full article.

Breakfast

National

The majority of national breakfast stations recorded declines in weekly reach in the first quarter of 2017. However, two stations - BBC Radio 2 and Radio X Network UK (what was once XFM) - managed to boost their weekly reach.

BBC Radio 2, presented by regular host Chris Evans, was up 1.8% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) but was down -3.6% year-on-year (YoY). Evans has little to worry about, however, as an enormous 9.4 million listeners continue to tune in, making him the king of the breakfast slot by several million listeners.

Meanwhile, Radio X Network UK - despite trailing at the bottom of the rankings - was up a healthy 6.8% QoQ, taking its weekly reach to 766,000 listeners.

In terms of year-on-year growth, Classic FM was the stand-out winner, with a 12.6% boost taking it to almost 1.7 million listeners. The station was still down -3.7% on the last quarter, however.

Meanwhile, BBC Radio 4 was up 5.6% YoY to 7.1 million listeners - and we'd expect that figure to grow given the ongoing drama of 2017 politics.

Elsewhere in the market, every station recorded a QoQ decline, with Magic Network hardest hit with a -20% drop from Q4 2016.

BBC Radio 3 also took a tumble, down 12% to just 570,000 listeners.

London

As in Q4 2016, there were some steep declines matched by some equally steep gains in radio listening for the capital in Q1 2017.

Capital London managed to boot Kiss London out of the top spot this quarter with a massive 41% QoQ increase - adding an impressive 363,000 listeners.

Meanwhile, Kiss dropped -4.3% (and almost -10% YoY) to 941,000.

Magic London recorded one of the biggest declines in listening with a massive -26% QoQ drop to 570,000 listeners - a decline of 200,000 listeners.

The picture over the last year is just as bad, with a -23% drop representing a tough time for the Bauer-owned station.

Elsewhere, Global's LBC London News was up a solid 36.6%. However, the station, which continues to sign new and controversial presenters, was down-18.2% YoY to 239,000 listeners.

The main LBC station, although down almost -7% QoQ, still looks strong with 941,000 listeners and secures third place in the rankings.

It was a bad quarter for Capital XTRA (London), which was down almost -48% QoQ and -33% YoY. The Global-owned station has only 167,000 listeners.

It was much better news for Gold London, which recorded the stand-out performance in Q1 2017. The station was up 63.4% QoQ to 201,000.

RAJAR Q1 2017 National Stations Breakfast Weekly (000s) Reach
Station Group Q1 2016 Q4 2016 Q1 2017 QoQ % Change Q4 2016 on Q1 2017 YoY % Change Q1 2016 on Q1 2017
BBC Radio 2 (06.30-09.30) BBC 9,727 9,214 9,380 1.8 -3.6
BBC Radio 4 (06.00-09.00) BBC 6,757 7,449 7,133 -4.2 5.6
BBC Radio 1 (06.30-10.00) BBC 5,435 5,367 5,141 -4.2 -5.4
Kiss (06.00-10.00) Bauer 2,190 2,205 2,083 -5.5 -4.9
BBC Radio FIVE LIVE (06.00-10.00) BBC 2,262 2,226 2,060 -7.5 -8.9
Absolute Radio Network (06.00-10.00) Absolute 1,897 1,959 1,898 -3.1 0.1
Classic FM (06.00-09.00) Global 1,486 1,738 1,673 -3.7 12.6
talkSPORT (06.00-10.00) talkSPORT 1,239 1,256 1,243 -1.0 0.3
*Magic Network (06.00-10.00) Bauer n/a 1,296 1,041 -19.7 n/a
Radio X Network UK (was XFM Network UK) (6.30-10.00) Global 776 717 766 6.8 -1.3
BBC Radio 3 (06.30-09.00) BBC 689 647 570 -11.9 -17.3
Source: RAJAR
* Station changed reporting survey period
RAJAR Q1 2017 London Stations Breakfast Show Weekly (000s) Reach
Station Group Q1 2016 Q4 2016 Q1 2017 QoQ % Change Q4 2016 on Q1 2017 YoY % Change Q1 2016 on Q1 2017
Capital London (06.00-10.00) Global 1,164 881 1,244 41.2 6.9
Kiss (London) (06.00-10.00) Bauer 1,043 983 941 -4.3 -9.8
LBC 97.3 (07.00-10.00) Global 616 725 678 -6.5 10.1
Heart London FM (06.00-09.00) Global 611 524 654 24.8 7.0
Magic (London) (06.00-10.00) Bauer 739 771 570 -26.1 -22.9
Absolute Radio (London) (06.00-10.00) Absolute 426 378 376 -0.5 -11.7
Smooth Radio (London) (06.00-10.00) Real and Smooth Radio Ltd 316 307 338 10.1 7.0
LBC London News (was LBC News 1152) (07.00-10.00) Global 292 175 239 36.6 -18.2
Gold London (06.00-10.00) Global 131 123 201 63.4 53.4
Radio X London (was XFM London) (06.30-10.00) Global 170 224 196 -12.5 15.3
Capital XTRA (London) (06.00-10.00) Global 250 319 167 -47.6 -33.2
BBC Radio London (was BBC London 94.9) (07.00-10.00) BBC 208 166 161 -3.0 -22.6
Premier Christian Radio (07.00-09.00) Premier Christian Radio 110 101 84 -16.8 -23.6
Source: RAJAR

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