Rajar Q1 2018: National stations and networks

17 May 2018  |  Newsline Staff 
Rajar Q1 2018: National stations and networks

As Rajar releases its first quarter results for the radio market, Mediatel presents the key findings showing station and network reach, share and average listening hours

Reach

The crucial thing to take away from this quarter’s Rajar figures is that commercial radio has recorded its highest reach ever - proof a legacy media knows how to innovate.

Total Global Radio continues to top the rankings, attracting nearly 24 million weekly listeners - a 2.1% increase on last quarter.

Global saw big gains with its LBC Network (up 7.1% quarter on quarter) and Capital XTRA (up 5.9%).

Heart Extra, however, continued to decline, losing nearly 8,000 weekly listeners (-1.6% QoQ). The Arrow, completely misfiring and already bottom of the rankings, also saw a serious decline, down -17.3% since the beginning of the year.

In second place to Global, Bauer Radio Total saw a decline of -1.7% on last quarter - though it still reaches 17.5 million weekly listeners and is up 3.2% year-on-year.

Bauer’s three most popular stations all saw small QoQ declines, with Bauer City Network, Kiss Network and Absolute Radio Network down -1%, -0.8% and -3.2%, respectively.

Bauer’s worst performer was The Hits, down -9.8% QoQ and -14.4% YoY - the biggest yearly decline across all stations.

In more positive news: Bauer’s Magic Soul was up 17.7% this quarter and Absolute 80s up 5.8%.

Outside of Bauer and Global, TalkSPORT's Virgin Radio suffered with a -11.6% decline QoQ, although the station, which relaunched in 2016, was up 14.5% YoY.

Meanwhile, BBC stations have had a poor start to the year, with only one station seeing a QoQ increase – digital-only BBC 6 Music, up 8%.

The year-on-year figures for BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 1 were up, however, 2.6% and 4%, respectively.

However, with the BBC’s top 3 stations accumulating a combined reach of more than 36 million, they continue to dominate the radio market.

Share

In the main, share of listening does not tend to change much, and that is still true of Q1 2018.

The long-standing market leader, Total Global Radio, claims 20.2% of the market after a 0.3 percentage point change. The network was up 0.6pp year-on-year.

Meanwhile, BBC Radio 2, the second-place holder, was down -0.7 percentage points QoQ to 17.6%, while Bauer Radio (Total) was down -0.3pp to claim a 14.6% share of the market.

Radio 4 (including 4 Extra) claims a 13.1% share of listening with a 0.1% increase on Q4 2017.

The next largest shares belong to Heart Brand (UK) with a 6.4% share, and Heart Network with 5.7%.

Average hours

BBC Radio 4 (including 4 Extra) takes over from its sister station, BBC Radio 2, to host the top spot for average listening hours.

The station, home to long-standing hosts including John Humphrys and Mishal Husain, clocks up an average 11.8 hours per listener (a 1.7% rise on Q3), while BBC Radio 2 secures 11.7 hours (a drop of -4.9%).

Meanwhile, LBC Network UK recorded another tumble in this first quarter, dropping -6.9% to 9.4 hours, and -13.8% annually.

Total Global Radio (UK), also saw its average listening time drop -1.1% to 8.8 hours.

Meanwhile, digital only-station BBC 6 Music was up 3.3% to 9.5 hours (although this is down -5% over the year).

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If you are interested in finding out more about a subscription please get in touch or find out more about Mediatel Connected.
If you are a subscriber, please log in.

Additional content is available in this article for Mediatel Connected subscribers.

If you are interested in finding out more about a subscription please get in touch or find out more about Mediatel Connected.
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DATA SNAPSHOT

17 Jan 2019 

Data from Mediatel Connected
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