Rajar Q3 2018: breakfast market

25 Oct 2018 
Rajar Q3 2018: breakfast market

National Breakfast market

The third quarter of 2018 has seen BBC Radio 2 continue to top the national breakfast rankings, with an average weekly reach of 8.8m.

However, the station recorded a quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) decline of -2.4% and a year-on-year (YoY) decline of -5.7%, coinciding with the surprise announcement that its long-standing presenter, Chris Evans, will be moving to commercial station Virgin Radio UK in December. Evans will be replaced at Radio 2 by Zoe Ball.

BBC Radio 4 also saw its reach fall slightly last quarter, down -0.4% QoQ and -3.9% YoY to a weekly reach of 6.8m.

Meanwhile, BBC Radio 1's breakfast show - with new host Greg James - came in third, reaching 4.9m listeners; however, there is no comparable data as the station has changed its way of reporting. Greg James' show will run Monday to Thursday only, with Friday (confusingly) now considered a part of the weekend.

Commercial radio fared slightly better last quarter, with Bauer's Absolute Radio Network continuing to lead with a weekly reach of 2.2m, up 2.8% QoQ and 13.8% YoY.

Bauer's Magic also saw a small quarterly boost, up 2.9% to 1.3m, though Kiss was down -4.4% QoQ to 2m; elsewhere, Global's leading breakfast station - Classic FM - saw its reach increase 2% to 1.7m.

Bauer also launched a new station last quarter, Hits Radio (formerly The Hits), which attained a weekly reach of 349,000 listeners.

London

Capital London, which remains the leader in the rankings, might not be there for much longer – the Global station was down -10.2% QoQ, a decline of 105,000 listeners. Over the last year, the breakfast show has seen its audience decline almost -17%.

That said, it still has an impressive reach of 928,000 listeners and its sister station, Capital XTRA, is on the rise – recording an 11.1% boost QoQ to 390,000 listeners, and up 37.3% YoY.

In second place in the rankings is Bauer’s Kiss, down -8.7% QoQ to 900,000 listeners (recording no change over the year).

Meanwhile, recording a major boost, Global’s LBC was up almost 20%, adding an extra 141,000 listeners – the station was also up almost 20% YoY.

Global’s Heart London also put in a strong performance in the third quarter – up 21.4% to 652,000 listeners (and up 33.1% YoY).

Elsewhere, Absolute Radio – which lost much-loved host Christian O'Connell this year– has not seen its figures dented as a result. So well done to new host Dave Berry for securing a 13.7% QoQ boost.

Smooth London can also stick on a pair of shades and feel smug: the station was up 28.1% to 378,000 listeners, while BBC Radio London was up a similarly impressive 26.6% to 238,000.

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16 Nov 2018 

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