London is falling head over heels for Heart with a massive 64% increase in total hours.

All commercial radio reach continues to eat away at the BBC and Classic FM have orchestrated a revival with a 5.5 million reach.

Digital continues its inexorable progress, 27.8 million people now listen with a digitally enabled receiver (DAB, DTV, online).

These are just three of the big headlines in commercial radio’s Q4 RAJAR results released at midnight. There are lots of ways to cut through the data, so here’s our independent assessment.

Kiss stormed to the top of the London charts with a stunning rise in reach taking it to 1.912 million. A stunning success for Bauer.

When it comes to hours, Heart London has bounced back and is now well ahead of Magic and Capital with the highest average hours amongst the music stations – with average hours going from 5.5 to 7.3.

Capital London performed strongly reaching 1.87 million, whilst XFM London has gone XXLARGE, increasing hours by a whopping 97% / seeing its share double.

Smooth London has kept things on an even keel, maintaining reach whilst increasing hours to an impressive 6.7 million. A good combo.

LBC 97.3 is still giving it some serious chatter, increasing its weekly talk format reach by 13%.

Overall the love is still strong for the Heart Network and recent changes seem to have bedded in well, maintaining its overall reach compared to last quarter and up 2% in terms of hours.

There’s been changes at Bauer – with their “Passion” and “Place” portfolios being re-branded. Their share of the radio market in Q4 has seen an increase – up to 13.6% from 13.2%.

Smooth network is up 6% in total hours. Unsurprisingly, the growth is led by many of the old “Gold” stations – now seeing significant growth in audience, some by more than 15%.

Global’s Classic FM has tuned up with a very composed performance. Reach has increased by 7% – back up to 5.5 million, the best since this time last year.

80’s style is still in vogue as Absolute 80’s total hours goes up by a massive 22%, whilst Absolute 90’s has seen an increase of 17%.

Kerrang have shown their mettle by increasing overall audience by 25000, whilst Kisstory are beginning to tell a brand extension story like no other. Kistory is now reaching over 1 million listeners – an increase of 78,000.

On devices, a stat that stands out is that 22% of adults say they listen to radio via a mobile phone or tablet at least once a month. That’s up 38% year on year. It may be unsurprising to see this growth but its definitely important as Online Audio Advertising models command ever-more budget and respect.

The Regions
Scotland is flying the saltire high with Smooth Radio Scotland seeing an impressive 58% increase in hours. Massive performance there.

There’s more to celebrate north of the border as XFM Scotland is seeing a revival – up 34% in hours, recovering from a big drop in listeners last quarter. This was due to an increase in average listening hours from 5.3 to 7.2

In Wales, the Heart North Wales brand seems to be going down a storm – up 49% in reach and a massive 94% in hours. It really is making up for its post-rebrand drop from last quarter.

In Northern Ireland they’ll be sinking a few pints of the black stuff, as it was a good quarter for many of its stations. Downtown Radio is up 29% in hours, whilst CityBeat is also up by 24%.

The local picture
Pulsating with power in Bradford is Pulse 1 – up 45% in hours, whereas sister station Pulse 2 has increased its reach by 58%.

Other local highlights include Liverpool’s Juice FM  – feeling very refreshed and fruity with a 33% increase in hours (that’s doubled year on year). Meanwhile Radio Aire in Leeds is doing Yorkshire proud increasing its hours by 31%.

All in all Britain loves commercial radio – with combined reach continuing to snap at the heels of the BBC. Overall, the corporation’s share of listening has dropped again to 52.8%, whereas local commercial radio has seen its share increase by around 1%.

We’ve got all the data so for more insight on what this quarter’s RAJAR means for your brands, contact us and we’ll put you in the picture.

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