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Rajar Q2 2019: Analysis

01 Aug 2019 
Rajar Q2 2019: Analysis

Rajar's latest report presents some great news for commercial radio - not only has it achieved its highest ever weekly reach, but it has very nearly closed the gap on the BBC's share of listening. Here are the key take-outs, with views from industry experts

Full report for the national stations and networks available here. Breakfast market here, and a digital report here.

Craig Eastwood, Head of Planning, RadioWorks Group

We’re delighted to see yet another strong result for Commercial Radio as it remains ahead of the BBC on reach for the 10th consecutive quarter. Keeping with the BBC theme, a special mention must go to Kisstory as it overtakes 6 Music as the largest DAB station in the country – a huge milestone for commercial Digital Radio.

It is the first RAJAR for Scala, Country Hits and Capital’s newly networked breakfast show. The latter now reaches 3.8 million weekly listeners and has become the biggest show on commercial radio. With Heart following suit, it will be interesting to see how well Heart performs next quarter. Virgin’s audience has continued to grow over the last 3 months thanks to the Chris Evans effect. The success of bringing BBC listeners across to the station is a huge testament to the unique programming and the accommodating nature of the Sky partnership who are reaping the rewards.

For the first time, the RAJAR results include smart speaker ownership. 26% of adults have welcomed Alexa, Cortana or Siri to their homes and 94% use them to listen to the radio. With this trend set to continue at speed, we are predicting growth in bespoke campaigns targeting smart speaker users, making audio advertising more interactive than ever.”

Thomas Balaam, AV Business Director, Mindshare

Despite a slight downturn in overall radio listening this quarter, with commercial radio reporting record reach figures, it cannot be denied that radio is a significant media form for the UK population. Indeed, with 89% of the population tuning in to radio every week, and the average listener clocking in 20.8 hours, it’s safe to say that radio continues to play a vital role for the average consumer’s media content consumption.

What’s interesting, however, is that digital online share of all radio listening is steadily rising. This has just this week been highlighted by the recent AA/WARC report, revealing that online radio has grown by 26.5% year-on-year, driving the UK ad industry to its 23rd consecutive quarter of market growth. With the RAJAR figures showing that voice activated smart speakers are now massively driving online listening in the home (up 44% year on year), it’s clear we’ve reached a turning point for this platform.

Our Mindshare Trends report showed that after years of talking about voice assistants, they are finally starting to play a bigger part in our everyday lives. Therefore, with this significant change in consumer mindset, and online digital radio growing, there will be more opportunities for advertisers as they start thinking about their overall voice strategy.

Aled Schell, senior planner, The Specialist Works

It’s been another strong showing for commercial radio against a resilient radio backdrop which continues to reach 89% of the UK every week.

It’s radio’s ability to innovate and adapt with changing consumer behaviour and tech which is driving its growth. In fact 56 percent of all radio listening is now delivered on digital devices, compared to 50 percent in Q2 2018, so the revival of radio is undoubtedly being driven by its very own digital revolution. This has led the way for digital-first stations to thrive, with recent launches of Heart 80s, Heart Extra, Magic Chilled, Magic Soul and Virgin Anthems particularly driving this trend, as well as the continuing rise of Kisstory up 26 percent quarter-on-quarter.

The abundance of platforms available to the public is keeping radio channels in tune with the shifting listening habits of consumers. The take up of listening through app is up by over a third alone, and the strength of digital radio’s growth is reflected in the near-27 percent growth year-on-year in advertising revenue as reported by the AA and WARC this week.

With 26 percent of adults claiming to own a voice activated speaker, and 94 percent of speaker owners listening to live radio, platform growth looks set to shape the way that people consume Audio, but with the curation and content that radio offers still very much at its heart.

Mediatel are the audio experts operating at the centre of audio trading, distribution and analytic processing. Contact us for more information on J-ET, Audiotrack or our RAJAR data engine.

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01 Jul 2020 

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