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RAJAR Round Up: Comedy repeats now biggest on digital

By | Published on Thursday 21 May 2015


What, RAJARs time again? Yep, so let’s do our customary run through the bigger headlines from the latest batch of UK radio listening figures.

1. Although 6 Music is still doing very well thank you very much – continuing to top two million listeners a week and up year-on-year – it is no longer the most listened to digital station. The Beeb’s 4 Extra has taken that title, having overtaken its music-obsessed sister station with a steady stream of (mainly old) comedy and drama to score a weekly audience of 2.17 million.

2. Elsewhere at the Beeb, a bit of doom and gloom at the nation’s (not) favourite, as Radio 1 saw its overall listening figures slip 830,000 year-on-year, so that it’s now reaching about 9.7 million people a week. Nick Grimshaw’s breakfast ratings were 5.5 million, the lowest since he took over the slot three years ago. Though Radio 1 bosses are keen to note that the stats suggest it is 30-somethings who are turning off the station’s daytime output, which means they are meeting BBC Trust calls to skew younger. Though the average audience member is still 32.

3. Radio 2 remains the true nation’s favourite, even though its audience slipped about half a million year-on-year to 15.1 million. Numbers tuning in to the Chris Evans breakfast show are also down, but are still an impressive 9.46 million.

4. In London, Kiss’s moment as biggest in the capital was short-lived, with sister station Magic now the biggest commercial radio operator in London once again. But Kiss is still in second place, ahead of Global Radio’s Capital and Heart in that order. Kiss and Magic are both owned by Bauer, who’s Absolute Radio – while only tenth biggest in London (overall, ie when BBC stations are included) – did see its audience in the capital grow by a third in the last quarter.

5. But what about digital listening? Well, in London digital listening (so DAB, web, apps and digital TV listening combined) now slightly out-performs analogue radio (AM/FM), while nationally 39.6% of radio listening is done via digital platforms, compared to 36.6% last year.