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Rajar Q4 2019: Breakfast markets

06 Feb 2020  |  Mediatel News Staff 
Rajar Q4 2019: Breakfast markets

National breakfast market

The festive season proved strong for the national breakfast market during the last quarter of 2019, with only six of 17 stations recording a fall in listenership compared to Q3.

The exodus from Zoe Ball's Radio 2 breakfast show finally came to a halt, with the station up 4.2% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) to a weekly reach of 8.2m - a boost of approximately 300,000 listeners.

However, the figures still represent a -9.1% year-on-year (YoY) decline for the popular breakfast show, which claimed 9.1 million listeners in Q4 2018 - the final quarter before Chris Evans moved to the commercial radio station Virgin Network.

Evans also grew his reach at Virgin over the quarter, up 7.1% (or 79,000 listeners) to 1.2m.

Second in the rankings, BBC Radio 4 saw its reach jump 8.6% to 7.2m, while elsewhere Global-owned Classic FM's popularity surged 7.2% over the Christmas period following a disappointing Q3, Bauer's Kiss grew 6.5%, and Greatest Hits Radio grew 3.5%.

However, Radio 1's breakfast show, hosted by Greg James, saw its weekly reach tumble -4.7% QoQ to 4.8m listeners.

Also seeing their listenership fall were Capital Network (-8%), Magic (-9.4%), Radio X (-4.1%) and Planet Rock (-0.6%).


London breakfast market

Global's Capital London climbed its way back to the top of the pack in Q4 2019, with an enormous 34.2% QoQ jump to 950,000 listeners after losing close to 300,000 listeners in Q3. The station was also up 3.8% YoY.

However, Bauer's Kiss saw the strongest growth over the quarter, launching itself back into second position from fifth with a 50.9% increase to 795,000 listeners - though the station was down -1.4% YoY.

Meanwhile, Global's talk station LBC - which had led the table in Q3 - dropped back to third after a -5.9% drop over the Christmas period.

However, with help from a December general election, the station was up 8.1% YoY to 765,000.

Meanwhile, Heart grew 8.2% over the quarter to 700,000 listeners (despite plummeting -15.9% YoY), while Smooth Radio grew 44.7% QoQ and 5.1% YoY to 395,000.

Elsewhere, Magic cast a bad spell and saw its reach fall -11.4% QoQ, as did LBC News (-15%) and Gold (-12.8%).

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