RAJAR round up

By | Published on Thursday 25 October 2012


There’s nothing like going out on a high, and this was nothing like going out on a high. The audience for the Chris Moyles breakfast show slipped to its lowest since 2006 as the self-proclaimed saviour of Radio 1 prepared to leave the programme, the latest RAJAR radio listening figures show.

So much so that the Radio 1 breakfast show, that Moyles once bragged was set to become the biggest in Britain after the ratings-topping Terry Wogan left Radio 2 at the end of 2009, came in third place, after both the Chris Evans breakfast show on R2 and news programme ‘Today’ on Radio 4. It will be interesting to see how new R1 breakfast dude Nick Grimshaw fairs when his first set of ratings are published. Meanwhile, some other RAJAR gubbins…

1. Good news for 6music, the once-to-be-axed digital service saw its audience grow by nearly a third in the last quarter to 1.62 million. The also nearly axed BBC Asian Network also saw its listening figures go up, 15.2% to 584,000.

2. 6music and the Asian Network – and another BBC digital service, 4 Extra, also seeing a rise in ratings – maybe benefited from the slow but steady increase in listening via the sometime controversial Digital Audio Broadcasting network, which could eventually replace the FM network (though that ambition is what’s controversial). DAB accounted for 20.4% of overall listening in the third quarter of 2012, up from 18% a year earlier. Overall digital listening (so via DAB, online or a telly network) was also up, from 28.2% a year ago to 31.3% (though that’s slightly less than last quarter).

3. Radio 2 remains the most popular radio station in the country, with a weekly average reach of 13.9 million and the UK’s biggest breakfast show, with the Evans-hosted programme boasting an audience of 8.55 million, which is slightly down on a year ago, but still rather impressive.

4. In London, Bauer Radio had a good RAJAR day, with its Magic station becoming biggest in the capital in terms of number of listeners (2.17 million) and audience share (7.3%), ahead of Capital and Heart, both owned by rival Global Radio.

5. In terms of audience share, even Bauer’s Kiss 100 outperformed Global’s Capital FM, though in terms of weekly listener numbers, the latter was still slightly ahead, and the Global flagship station does still boast the biggest breakfast show in London by some margin, with Dave Berry and Lisa Snowdon attracting 1.16 million listeners, compared to Neil Fox’s 822,000 on the second place Magic breakfast slot.

6. The currently in limbo Smooth Radio, which Global hopes to buy regulator approval permitting, saw its listening figures slide 29.6% year on year to 431,000, though it had recovered a little from the previous quarter’s low.

7. Xfm also saw listening figures slip, down 14.5% year on year, while national station Absolute was down 3.7% year-on-year, and 12.4% on the previous quarter. Though the listeners it’s been losing might be moving over to the network’s decade-themed digital stations, like Absolute 80s, all of which saw audience figures grow from the previous quarter.

8. Regards other commercial digital-only stations, Q and The Hits were down, 22.5% and 10.3% respectively, while Jazz FM was up 22.8%. Meanwhile, Planet Rock saw its reach increase year-on-year 3% to 864,000.