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Rajar Q4 2019: National stations and networks

06 Feb 2020  |  Mediatel News Staff 
Rajar Q4 2019: National stations and networks
Reach

Continuing to top Rajar's league table in terms of weekly reach is Total Global Radio (UK) with a healthy 23.2m listeners - although the group continues to experience a decline.

In Q4 2019 it fell -2.3% quarter-on-quarter and -1.7% year-on-year (following a quarterly decline in Q3)

All three of Global's largest radio brands - Heart Brand UK, Capital Brand UK and Smooth Brand UK - also saw their weekly reach fall over the festive period, down -2.9% to 9.5m, -6.3% to 7.6m and -2.5% to 5.6m, respectively.

However, with Christmas in sight and a December general election, the broadcaster had better luck with stations including Classic FM (+6.3% to 5.5m) and LBC Network (+5.6% to 2.7m).

Meanwhile, Bauer Radio - Total recorded a reach of 18.2m weekly listeners - dropping -1.1% QoQ, though reporting a boost of 1.2% across its portfolio of stations compared to the same period in 2018.

Bauer's Hits Radio Brand, Absolute Radio Network and Magic Network all held fairly steady during the quarter with marginal declines, down -0.4% QoQ to 6.7m, -0.3% to 4.9m and -0.7% to 4.2m, respectively.

Kiss Network was the hardest hit out of Bauer's main radio networks, falling -5.1% QoQ to 5.3m.

Overall, some of the market's most notable upsets over the quarter included Absolute 80s, which plummeted -22.1% QoQ to 1.4m, Heart 80s, down -34.4% to 1.1m, and the most popular digital-only commercial station, KISSTORY, which saw its total weekly reach drop -13.7% to 2.2m. However, the station was up 22.1% YoY.

Elsewhere, the BBC's top stations regained lost ground in the last quarter of 2019. BBC Radio 2, with a colossal 14.4m weekly listeners, saw its reach grow 1.8% QoQ, while BBC Radio 4 (including 4 Extra) jumped 5.8% to 11.4m.

Other notable results include Total Wireless Group (+9.5%), Virgin Radio (+8%) and Total JACK (+2.8%).

Share

The fourth quarter of 2019 saw Total Global Radio (UK) once again claim the highest share of listening at 20.6%, despite a -0.6 percentage point (pp) drop since Q3 and a -0.2pp drop over the year.

BBC Radio 2 regained its lead ahead of Bauer Radio Total by claiming a share of 17%, a 1.1pp increase QoQ. Meanwhile, Bauer recorded no change to its overall share of listening, holding steady at 15.9%.

In fourth, BBC Radio 4 (including 4 Extra) grew by 1.2pp QoQ and 0.7pp YoY to 13.4%.

The next largest shares belong to Global’s Heart Brand UK (6.2%), BBC Radio 1 (5.6%) and Bauer’s Hits Radio Brand (5.4%).

Average hours per listener

BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 4 (including 4 Extra) both led the table in average hours per listener for Q4 2019 at 11.5 hours each. The two stations were up 3.6% QoQ and 2.7% QoQ, respectively, though both were down over the year.

Meanwhile, digital-only BBC 6 Music grew 5.7% over the quarter and 3.3% over the year to 9.3 hours, climbing back up to third in the rankings after dropping to sixth in Q3.

Global's LBC Network (UK) ranks fifth with an average listening of 9.2 hours - however, the station dropped -5.2% QoQ and -7.1% YoY. Overall, Total Global Radio averaged 8.7 hours, falling -2.2% over both the quarter and the year.

Elsewhere, Bauer Radio Total fell -1.1% both QoQ and YoY to 8.6 hours.

However, Bauer's Scala Radio, Mellow Magic, and Global's Heart Extra were among those stations to see the largest growth in listening hours over the last quarter of the year, up 18.9% to 6.3 hours, 44.4% to 5.2 hours and 46.4% to 4.1 hours, respectively.

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