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Rajar round-up: Digital up, but commercial radio has a rough three months

By | Published on Thursday 9 February 2017


Can it really be RAJAR time again? Yes, it can. Otherwise why would I even be writing this? Think for a moment, would you? Jesus Christ. You people are hard work.

Anyway, yeah, the numbers people have been looking at radio listening for the last quarter of 2016 and wrote some of their favourite numbers down for all to see. Here are a few of the insights therein…

1. Chris Evans saw his Radio 2 breakfast show audience stay around the same size at nine million, slightly down on the year. Over on Radio 1, Nick Grimshaw lost half a million listeners year-on-year, now being at 5.4 million.

2. Commercial radio in general had a rough three months, although that may not be solace to News UK’s Wireless Group, whose new Virgin Radio and TalkRadio digital stations both lost listeners over their first year on air. They had 324,000 and 252,000 tuning in during Q4 respectively.

3. Digital listening, and in particular people turning in via the DAB network, grew again, it now accounting for 45.2% of all listening, up from 41.7% from the same period in 2015. The most popular digital-only stations are BBC Radio 6 Music and BBC Radio 4 Extra. Commercial radio saw a 21% increase in digital listening, despite the general fall in listeners overall.

4. In part boosted by increased DAB use, in-car listening had its highest share of listening figure of all time, at 23.3% – a 40% year-on-year growth.

5. Significant drops in listener numbers for Capital and Heart mean that Kiss is now London’s most popular commercial station overall, and also has the most popular breakfast show in the capital.