Rajar Q3 2018: National stations and networks

25 Oct 2018 
Rajar Q3 2018: National stations and networks

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

Reach

For two second consecutive quarters, Total Global Radio has experienced no change, holding steady with a weekly reach of 23.7m listeners across 15 national stations.

However four of Global's stations recorded declines this quarter: Heart Brand (-1%), Heart Network (-2.1%), LBC Network (-0.5%) and The Arrow, which saw its impressive 24.2% growth in Q2 boomerang by recording the largest quarterly decline of all stations in Q3, at -39%.

Although Heart Brand recorded a slight decline, the weekly reach of Global's second highest ranking brand, Capital, was up 0.8% QoQ; elsewhere, Smooth Brand was up 3.5%.

However, it made its largest quarterly gains with its digital stations, Heart 80s and Heart Extra, which were up 15.9% and 17.6%, respectively.

Bauer Radio Total - second in the rankings - gained 459,000 listeners last quarter, up 2.6% QoQ and 2.1% year-on-year to 18.2m.

Bauer's Hits Radio Brand once again saw its reach decline, down almost 0.9%; however, Kiss Network, Absolute Radio and Magic Network all made positive gains, up 2.3%, 2.4% and 4.6%, respectively.

Like Global, Bauer gained the most ground with its digital stations, with Absolute 80s up 14.7%, Absolute Radio 90s up 11.1%, and Magic Soul up 11.3%.

However, eight of 21 stations experienced declines last quarter. Bauer's largest decline was from Kerrang! which was down -6.1%.

Outside of Bauer and Global, talkSPORT saw a small 2.2% increase to almost 3 million listeners.

Elsewhere, the BBC saw only a handful of stations lose listeners: BBC Radio 2 (-2.0%), BBC World Service (-2.4%) and BBC Asian Network UK (-6.1%).

BBC Radio 4 experienced no change, maintaining its 11m listeners; BBC Radio 1 grew 3.9% to reach 9.6m listeners, and digital-only BBC 6 Music grew 3%.

Share

In terms of share of listening, there were no major upsets in the market during the third quarter of 2018.

Total Global Radio, which remains the market leader by some margin, claims a 20.4% share and recorded a 0.1 percentage point change on Q2. The network was down -0.2pp year-on-year.

Meanwhile, BBC Radio 2, maintaining second place, was down -0.8 percentage points QoQ to 17.1%, while Bauer Radio (Total) was up 0.7pp to claim a 15.6% share of the market.

Radio 4 (including 4 Extra) claims a 12.9% share – remaining steady with no change on the previous quarter.

The next largest shares belong to Global’s Heart Brand (UK) with a 6.4% share, Heart Network with 5.6%, and Capital Brand with 4.3%.

Average listening hours

It’s currently neck and neck for sister stations BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 4 (including 4 Extra).

The stations had been playing merry-go-round for the top spot for some while, but in Q3 2018 both settled for 12 hours each – although that meant a small decline for Radio 2 of -1.6%.

Meanwhile, Global’s LBC Network was up 2.1% to 9.8 hours, while Total Global Radio remained steady with no change and 8.8 hours.

Elsewhere, Bauer Radio (Total) was up 1.2% to 8.7 hours.

The worst performing stations included Global’s badly aimed The Arrow, down almost 44% to just 3.2 hours, and Heart 80s, down almost 22% to 4 hours.

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DATA SNAPSHOT

16 Nov 2018 

Data from Mediatel Connected
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