Rajar Q1 2018: Breakfast market

17 May 2018  |  Newsline Staff 
Rajar Q1 2018: Breakfast market

National Breakfast market

2018 hasn’t kicked off to a particularly great start for national breakfast radio, with just 2 of the 11 stations recorded by Rajar able to report an increase in listeners since the end of last year.

The good news first: talkSPORT knocked it out the park, up a massive 22.3% on last quarter. Impressively, that’s a 14.4% increase on this time last year. Its total reach is now more than 1.4m listeners each week.

BBC Radio 3 also fared well, with a quarter-on-quarter increase of 4.4% to 634,000 listeners. Meanwhile, Chris Evans' BBC Radio 2 breakfast show dropped -3.3% and was down -2.8% over the year. However, it continues to draw over 9 million listeners each week and still maintains the top spot by some margin.

At the other end of the scale Magic failed to enchant listeners, down -22.1% from last quarter and averaging over 300,000 fewer listeners each week. But the news isn’t all bad, as the station was up 6% year-on-year.

Kiss, despite a -6.4% QoQ decline, still remains the top ranked commercial breakfast show for the sixth consecutive quarter with a reach of 2.1 million listeners. The breakfast show was up 0.5% YoY.

Elsewhere, Classic FM and Radio 1 also saw a steep drop in Q1, down -13.5% and -10.9%, respectively.

That's perhaps not surprising for Classic FM which always records a natural boost over the Christmas period, so a new year lull is to be expected, but is much more worrying for the BBC which is struggling to entice younger audiences and has witnessed a series of declines in recent years.

London

Of the 13 stations in the London breakfast market only three managed to record any quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) gains in the first three months of the year.

Capital London, which takes first position in the rankings, alongside Absolute Radio and Smooth Radio, all recorded positive QoQ gains: 1.3%, 9% and a huge 25%, respectively.

Capital London takes over Kiss's top spot from Q4 2017 despite recording a -17.7% year-on-year (YoY) decrease and a small 1.3% boost QoQ in Q1 2018, while Kiss recorded a -5.7% decrease QoQ and a 2.9% increase YoY to 968,000 listeners.

Meanwhile LBC, Heart London and Magic all recorded declines in listener figures, both QoQ and over the last year (see chart, below).

Despite recording a -16% decline in listeners in Q1, Capital XTRA still managed to report an impressive 44% increase over the year.

Towards bottom of the rankings, BBC Radio London's QoQ listeners decreased by almost -36% to just 175,000. However, the station increased its year-on-year figure by 8.7%.

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17 Sep 2018 

Data from Mediatel Connected
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