RAJAR Q3 Results Round-up

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RAJAR results from Q3 this year show that total radio reach has fallen from its 47 million listener peak in Q2 of 2011.

Year-on-year, total reach has fallen by 1.1%, however, the last four quarters have shown relative consistency, with fluctuation confined to a narrow band between 46.6 million and 46.8 million, and a quarter-on-quarter comparison shows only a slight decline of 0.3%.

Nationally, Commercial Radio has shown a decline in both YoY and QoQ figures (-1.7% and -0.1% respectively), with total reach now at 33.1 million. Classic FM continues to be the single most listened to commercial station in the UK with a reach of 5.4 million adult listeners.

By comparison, BBC Radio reach is now 34.7 million – this is a 0.6% decline YoY but shows an increase against the last quarter of 0.6%.

Local Radio has continued to decline YoY, with local Commercial Radio showing a 2.3% decrease and local BBC Radio posting a 5.7% YoY decline. Quarter-on–quarter performances across both local commercial and local BBC platforms have remained relatively stable.

Commercial radio networks, which have now become a feature of the UK radio industry, have again posted some impressive results in this quarter; Heart Network now deliver a reach of 7.3 million, closely followed by Capital Network with 6.8 million listeners.

Ending Sep ’11 Ending Dec ’11 Ending Mar ’12 Ending Jun ’12 Ending Sep ’12 QoQ % Change Jun ’12 vs Sep ’12 YoY % Change Sep ’11 vs Sep ’12
All Radio 47,137 46,677 46,676 46,782 46,623 -0.3 -1.1
All BBC Radio 34,863 34,940 34,594 34,444 34,655 0.6 -0.6
All Commercial Radio 33,719 32,821 33,201 33,182 33,148 -0.1 -1.7
All BBC Network Radio 31,723 31,635 31,196 31,454 31,590 0.4 -0.4
Scotsman 38,787 34,028 33,071 -5,716 -14.7 -957 -2.8
All Local Commercial Radio (National TSA) 27,036 26,275 26,533 26,364 26,424 0.2 -2.3
All National Commercial Radio 15,573 15,441 15,896 16,101 16,038 -0.4 3
BBC Local Radio 9,499 9,604 9,895 8,962 8,958 n/a -5.7
Other Radio 3,062 2,937 3,135 3,387 3,241 -4.3 5.8

Source: RAJAR

There has been little variation in listening share between Q2 and Q3 this year, with Commercial Radio retaining a 43.3% share and BBC Radio losing only 0.3%. Both local Commercial and BBC radio platforms have seen a slight decrease in listening share of 1.2% and 0.2% respectively.

Source: RAJAR

Digital listening has remained static in Q3, with a 31.3% share of all radio listening across platforms, with Smash Hits Radio continuing to be the number one commercial, digital only station. Q3 results show that the distribution of digital listeners across platforms remains fairly consistent.

Source: RAJAR

All Radio’s average listening hours fell during Q3 to an average of 21.9 hours per week, which represents a 3.9% YoY decrease and 0.9% decline QoQ.

RAJAR data from Q2 2012 shows that listening hours continue to peak during the breakfast time period, with Q3 data reporting that a massive 37.1 million UK adults tune in to a breakfast show across an average week.

Whilst YoY declines in radio listening hours and reach have been slight, Ipsos Media CT have argued that this could represent a new challenge for radio brands that are now competing with a diverse range of media platforms in the morning period.

Radio stations are now facing competition from not only other radio stations, but also television, smart phones, tablets and computers. For example, over 1 million people on Facebook have ‘liked’ the group ‘the first thing I do when I wake up is check facebook’.

To combat this radio stations must continue to remain fine-tuned and focused in understanding the complex and often difficult needs of their audiences during this peak period in order to maintain their share of audiences against other, emerging breakfast media platforms.

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