Rajar Q2 2017: Round-up

03 Aug 2017  |  Newsline Staff 
Rajar Q2 2017: Round-up

As Rajar publishes its second quarter results for the radio market, Newsline presents a full round-up for the national stations and networks and the digital and breakfast markets

See also - Rajar Q2 2017: Industry analysis

National stations and networks

There were some decent increases in weekly reach for a number of national stations in the second quarter of 2017.

With a 3% quarter-on-quarter boost, Total Global Radio UK kept the top spot with more than 23.3 million listeners tuning in each week - with top performers including LBC Network (UK) (up 14.6% QoQ), Smooth Extra (up 17.4% QoQ) and The Arrow (up 66%).

Heart Extra, however, was down -19% compared with Q1.

Meanwhile, Bauer Radio Total - which follows Global’s top spot with a weekly reach of 17.2 million - was up 1.8% QoQ, although down -3% YoY.

Bauer’s best performing stations this quarter include Kiss (up 15.5%), Kisstory (up 11.8%) and Absolute 80s (up 11.3%).

Not such good news for Bauer’s Kerrang, however, which was down -11.6% QoQ and -28.3% YoY - the biggest yearly decline across all stations.

Except for a handful of small quarterly declines (BBC Radio 2 -0.9%, BBC 6 Music -4.9%), BBC stations performed well - with Radio 4 up 3.5%, Radio 1 up 5.3%, BBC Radio 3 up 9.4%, BBC World Service up 19.4% and BBC Radio 5 live sports extra up by more than 50%.

Click here for the full report.


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

In total, 33 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 503 million hours; DAB has a 71% share of digital listening hours, digital TV 11% and online 18%.

Click here for the full report.



BBC Breakfast shows performed well in the second quarter of 2017, with some healthy boosts in listenership for four of the corporation's radio stations.

BBC Radio 3 posted the biggest quarter-on-quarter increase, up 14.2% - although the slot was down -13.3% year-on-year.

Meanwhile, Radio Five Live was up 10.4% QoQ, while BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 1 were up 7.3% and 7% respectively. Radio 4 and Radio 1 also saw listenership increase over the year - up 4.2% and 1.2%, respectively.

Chris Evans’ Radio 2 breakfast slot, however, recorded a -4% decline in listeners in Q2, while yearly listenership was down by -4.9%.

Despite this, the show is still the best-performing in the breakfast market by a long way, with 9 million listeners tuning in every week.

Elsewhere, Global’s Classic FM had a strong period, up 14.5% QoQ and 12.4% YoY, pulling in a little over 1.9 million listeners. Global’s Radio X Network also performed well over the year, up 8.1%, although weekly listeners were down -2.1% QoQ.

While Bauer-owned Magic was up 4.5% compared with the previous quarter, it has lost almost a fifth (266,000) of its listeners over the year.

Similarly, talkSPORT's weekly reach declined -23.5% YoY.


Matching the bumpy activity in the first quarter, there were both steep declines and big gains in radio listening for the capital in Q2 2017.

Capital London, which booted Kiss London out of the top spot in Q1, managed to keep its crown despite a QoQ decline of -12.7%. The station now has a little over 1 million listeners.

Meanwhile, Kiss dropped -2.9% 914,000 in the second quarter. The station was down -0.8% YoY.

It was much better news for Global’s LBC which recorded a huge boost of 33.6% QoQ and 22.3% YoY.

The station, which sacked controversial host Katie Hopkins in May (apparently to the applause of staff), certainly didn’t witness a dent in reach: the station now has 906,000 listeners - a leap of 228,000.

Magic London, which recorded one of the biggest declines in Q1, was up 8.4% QoQ to 618,000 - however, the station was down -10.6 YoY.

Elsewhere, Absolute Radio (London) was down -41.2% QoQ and -48.4% YoY, while Gold London - following a stand-out performance in Q1 - was down 35.8% QoQ and -9.2% YoY.

Both Capital XTRA and BBC Radio London recovered from seasonal dips in Q1.

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