Rajar Q1 2019: Breakfast markets

16 May 2019  |  Michaela Jefferson 
Rajar Q1 2019: Breakfast markets

National Breakfast Market

BBC Radio 2 has continued to lead the national breakfast rankings for the first quarter of 2019 with an average weekly reach of just over 9m - despite former host Chris Evans' move to Virgin.

New host Zoe Ball said at the Radio Festival this week that she had been told to expect a drop in reach as Evans would take listeners with him. However, the station's reach has only fallen -0.2% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ), a loss of just 18,000 listeners.

Meanwhile, Evans' new Virgin Network show - ad free thanks to a commercial partnership with Sky - has debuted with a reach of just over 1m.

An analysis of the figures shows that 386,000 people listen to both breakfast shows, which indicates that only 636,000 have made the complete switch from Radio 2 to Virgin.

BBC Radio 4 - second in the rankings - increased its reach 5.4% QoQ and 1.3% year-on-year (YoY) to 7.2m, while Greg James' Radio 1 breakfast show saw its reach fall -1.3% QoQ to 5m. Radio 1 has no comparable data for the previous year as the station has changed its way of reporting.

Meanwhile, commercial radio recorded a mixed bag of results. Bauer's Absolute Radio Network, the fourth most popular station, remained fairly steady over the quarter, with a drop in reach of -0.5% to just under 2.2m. The station was up 6.2% YoY.

However, Kiss was down -3.1% QoQ and -14.6% YoY, Magic was down -14.9% QoQ (though up 18.2% YoY) and Hits was down -3.2% QoQ to 336,000 listeners. Hits has no comparable yearly data as the station was launched less than a year ago.

Elsewhere, Global's Classic FM grew 3.4% QoQ and 6.7% YoY to 1.8m listeners, however Radio X Network UK saw its reach tumble -6.4% over the quarter.

London

The London breakfast market had a tough start to the year, with all but three stations recording a fall in their average weekly reach.

Maintaining its position as the most popular London breakfast station, Global's Capital managed to boost its reach 6.2% last quarter to an impressive 972,000 listeners, despite a drop of -5.1% YoY.

Meanwhile, its sister station Capital XTRA has continued on the rise, recording a 2.5% boost to its reach last quarter and a huge 38.6% jump year-on-year, with 334,000 listeners now tuning in.

However, in a shakeup to the market, Global's LBC has taken Bauer's Kiss London's longstanding position as the second most popular London breakfast station, while Kiss has dropped to third.

Whilst LBC recorded a modest growth in its reach over the first quarter of 2019, up 2.3% QoQ to 724,000 listeners, Kiss London saw its reach plummet -16.7% last quarter to 671,000, a loss of 135,000 listeners.

Elsewhere, Absolute Radio London, Radio X London and BBC Radio London all recorded notable declines QoQ, down -22.3%, -22.8% and -23.4%, respectively.

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DATA SNAPSHOT

19 Jul 2019 

Data from Mediatel Connected
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