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RAJAR Q1 2010: National Stations

13 May 2010  |  Liz Jaques 
Radio Equaliser

BBC Radio 2 remains the national station with the highest weekly reach, according to the latest RAJAR figures for Q1 2010.  It posted both a year on year and period on period increase, up by 8.3% and 8.1% respectively, which takes its total to over 14.5 million listeners.

BBC Radio 1 also had a positive first quarter following a 9% period on period rise in its weekly reach (and a 6% year on year increase).  The station now has a reach of more than 11.7 million listeners.

BBC Radio 4 remained relatively static, meanwhile, after a 1.9% period on period rise and a smaller 0.5% year on year jump.  As a result, its weekly reach remains strong at more than 10 million listeners.

It was also a good quarter for BBC Five Live (including Sports Extra), which posted a 6.1% period on period increase, taking its total to over 6.5 million listeners.  However, the highest BBC performers were BBC 6 Music and 1Xtra.

Both stations have seen a substantial boost to their figures since the BBC's director general Mark Thompson announced plans to axe its smaller radio stations, including Asian Network and 6 Music, in February.  The cuts form part of the BBC's strategic review, which aims to cut £100 million a year from the corporation's overhead costs.

As a result, BBC 6 Music saw its weekly reach rise by 47.2% period on period, and by an even higher 50.2% year on year to more than one million listeners.  1Xtra, meanwhile, posted a 24.9% period on period rise (7.6% year on year) to around 663,000 listeners.

However, despite the possibility of closure, BBC Asian Network failed to improve its weekly reach.  The station reported a 0.8% period on period decline, after a higher 11.9% year on year drop, to 357,000 listeners.

It was a mixed period for the commercial industry too, with some stations performing particularly well in quarter one, while others struggled.  Heart Network retained its position as the commercial station with the highest weekly reach after a 1.4% period on period rise to around 7.4 million listeners.

Classic FM and Total Magic also enjoyed a period on period boost.  Classic FM posted an increase of 7.4% during the quarter, taking its total to around 5.5 million listeners, while Total Magic reported a 12.6% period on period rise to almost 3.8 million listeners.  NME Radio also enjoyed a significant boost, up by 27.7% period on period to 226,000 listeners.

On the other hand, Total Smooth Radio, talkSPORT and Total Real Radio all suffered both year on year and period on period declines.  talkSPORT saw the highest period on period percentage drop out of the three, down by more than 5% to below 2.4 million listeners.

Total Absolute Radio, however, witnessed an even higher drop.  The station was down by 6.5% period on period and by a more significant 17.5% year on year, which takes its total reach to around 1.4 million listeners.

Absolute Radio's Classic Rock station, meanwhile, had a much different quarter.  It reported a 17.5% period on period rise and a impressive 37.1% year on year increase, taking its total to 255,000 listeners.

This week, Absolute Radio published its on-demand listening figures for the first time.  The commercial station's new engagement metrics, which measure data from internet devices, will be released  monthly from now on.

In April, the Absolute Radio Network (which includes Absolute Radio, Absolute 80s, Absolute Classic Rock and dabbl) serviced a total of 744,000 on-demand hours via IP connected devices.  This on-demand figure consists of all audio and video content available online through downloaded podcasts, audio clips, live sessions and videos both on www.absoluteradio.co.uk and third party sites.

In total, the Absolute Radio Network serviced 7.22million hours of online content in April (including live online streamed hours, live mobile streamed hours and on-demand), according to the station.

Please note: Absolute Radio's Xtreme station has ceased to exist, but the all-new Absolute 80s station is reporting for the first time this release, with a total weekly reach of 264,000 listeners.

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BBC Radio 2 increased its share of listening by 0.7 percentage points period on period in Q1, which leaves it well ahead of the pack with a 17.2% total.

BBC Radio 4 and Radio 1, meanwhile, both saw their share dip by 0.3 percentage points during the period.  BBC Radio 4 now has a total share of 12.2%, while Radio 1 has a total of 9.5%.

Commercial broadcaster talkSPORT's share also dipped, down by 0.5 percentage points in Q1, taking its total to 1.6%.  However, commercial station's Classic FM, Total XFM (UK), Planet Rock and Five Live Sports Extra all posted small rises during the period.

BBC 6 Music also enjoyed a 0.4 percentage points increase to 0.8%.

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Total LBC (UK) jumped ahead of BBC Radio 4 and Radio 2 to take the top spot with the highest average hours per listener of 12.8 after a 3.2% period on period and 10.3% year on year increase.

BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 2 lost their first and second place positions after suffering both period on period and year on year declines in quarter one.  BBC Radio 4 was down by 2.4% period on period (3.9% year on year) to 12.3 hours, while BBC Radio 2 dropped 0.8% period on period to 12 hours.

Gold Network (UK) also took a hit this quarter, dropping 7% to 9.3 hours, despite a 4.5% year on year increase.  It is now on a par with Total Real Radio, which also enjoyed a 4.5% year on year rise, but slipped 2.1% during the period.

BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra  and Asian Network were among the other stations to post a downturn in Q1 2010, as well as commercial stations talkSPORT, Total Magic, Sunrise Radio National, Chill, Heat and NME Radio.

However, it wasn't all doom and gloom.  Soon-to-be-closed BBC 6 Music increased its average hours per listener but a substantial 40% period on period to 7.7 hours in total, while Five Live Sports Extra was up by an even higher 47.1% period on period to 2.5 hours.  Planet Rock also enjoyed a positive rise during the period, up by 19.7% (41.7% year on year) to 8.5 hours.

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DATA SNAPSHOT

13 Dec 2019 

Data from Mediatel Connected
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