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RAJAR Round Up: A Six Kiss Quarter

By | Published on Thursday 5 February 2015


What five things do you need to know about the latest batch of RAJAR radio stat nonsense? Well, take these for starters…

1. We normally kickstart our RAJAR round ups with the Beeb, but it’s worth leading this time with the news that Kiss is now the biggest commercial radio station in London, which is a pretty big achievement for a channel that began pirate, then became legit niche, before going more mainstream but still being seen as mainly for The Kids. Kiss has been catching up Capital, Heart and Magic for a while, and now tops all three in terms of overall audience, at 1.91 million for the last quarter, compared to Capital’s 1.86 million, Heart’s 1.78 million and Magic’s 1.76 million.

2. Back at the BBC, and it’s all about 6 Music this time around. I’m thinking about putting together a montage of all the BBC execs who supported shutting this station back in 2010. 6’s audience has now topped two million – 2.08 million people a week to be precise – the first ever digital-only station to do so. So well done one and all. And to me for standing outside Broadcasting House in the freezing cold that time as part of the ‘Save 6’ protest. I’m still feeling the frostbite now.

3. Elsewhere in Broadcasting House, Radio 1 saw overall listening figures slip a little to 10.43 million, though Grimmy’s breakfast show saw its audience rise compared to the previous quarter to 5.9 million (though that’s still down year-on-year). Radio 2 saw its listening figures go up to 15.2 million, though that’s still down a little on last year’s record high. And the Chris Evans breakfast show likewise is up on last quarter but down on last year, at 9.6 million listeners.

4. Back in commercial radio, Classic FM saw its audience rise quarter-to-quarter, to 5.6 million, while Absolute Radio and talkSPORT both slipped a little, to 1.7 million and 3 million listeners respectively. In terms of the quasi-national stations, Heart slipped a little but is still the biggest, Capital lost a little overall too, while Smooth continues to see significant increases in London, with a nationwide audience of 4.8 million.

5. Finally, what about the DABs? Well, RAJAR reckons that a quarter of all radio listening now takes place via DAB digital radio sets, helping to fuel the rise of services like 6 Music, Smooth and Absolute 80s, the latter of which is now outperforming the main Absolute station on AM. Increased DAB listening in cars is leading the slow but sure growth for the platform. Overall digital listening – so taking in other digital channels too – is at 37.9%, up 6% year on year.

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