Rajar Q1 2018: Round up

17 May 2018  |  Newsline Staff 
Rajar Q1 2018: Round up

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

National stations and networks

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%.

Read the full article.

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.

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 Evan’s 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.

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

For the full story, including news on the London breakfast market, click here.


As DAB has become more widely available more digital stations have launched, providing listeners with much greater choice. Most of the UK now has access to over fifty DAB stations and some major cities over seventy.

The top digital-only stations include BBC 6 Music and Kisstory, and the recently launched Heart 80s, all of which achieved record-breaking audiences this quarter.

Meanwhile, stations historically available only in certain areas of the UK on FM, such as LBC, Radio X, Kiss and Magic, have now launched nationally on DAB.

Crucially, digital listening now represents the majority - although slim - of all radio listening...

Read the full article


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Rajar Q1 2018: Digital Rajar Q1 2018: Breakfast market Rajar Q1 2018: National stations and networks
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14 Feb 2019 

Data from Mediatel Connected
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