Written by Radio

RAJAR Q3 2014

RAJAR Q4 2013

This post is brought to you in association with RALF from DP Software and Services. I’ve used RALF for the past 6 years, and it’s my favourite RAJAR analysis tool. So I’m delighted to be able to bring you this analysis. For more details on RALF, contact Deryck Pritchard via this link or phone 07545 425677.

Another RAJAR and I’m still here having a look! And as ever, these are my personal views.

Now it should be said that this is the RAJAR that covers the summer, and so we do see some falls over that period.

First things first though, and for the second quarter in a row, Radio 2 has taken a bit of a tumble, now only just peeking over 15m listeners. The hours decline is a little more serious, down 4% on the quarter. But this is probably good news for just about every other radio station in the land. But overall, radio fell a little across the land, down 1% in reach (and flat in hours) – the same for both BBC and commercial radio. And to be fair to the station, they’re up fractionally on the previous year in reach.

Radio 1 was down 2% in reach and up a fraction in hours, while Radio 3 saw its usual Proms improvement, gaining a little in reach but up 5% in hours. Radio 4 was fairly flat, but Five Live had a disappointing quarter down 7% in reach and 8% in hours. Although this quarter included a chunk of the World Cup, an ignominious England performance probably didn’t help.

Indeed Talksport didn’t fare a great deal better shedding 7% in reach, although just down 2% in hours.

Elsewhere Classic FM was also down in reach (-4%) but flat in hours.

Absolute Radio had a rather decent RAJAR, up 4% in reach and 17% in hours. While across the whole Absolute Radio Network they got over 4m for the first time since the heyday of Chris Evans on Virgin Radio back in 2000. And a 10% jump in hours is pretty decent too.

Digital stations have done rather well this quarter with various records being set. 6 Music has another all time highest reach and hours figures. It’s just 6,000 listeners short of 2 million. And with over 18m hours, that means their listeners are incredibly loyal listening for 9.2 hours a week – only a couple of hours off what Radio 4 achieves with its loyal audience.

Absolute 80s also achieved record figures (contributing to that Network number) – with over 1.4m listening each week, up 15% on the quarter. 1 Xtra had more listening hours than ever before – up 21%, and Heat had record figures.

And spare a thought for The Hits – soon to be reappear as “3” branded services locally. It was up 22% in reach and, er, 71% in hours (OK, its figures yo-yo a bit).

At breakfast, Nick Grimshaw was down a little on the quarter, but up on the year – 4% in reach and 10% in hours (Oh, and his audience’s average age has gone up fractionally to 33.7. As I’ve mentioned previously, this will be impossible to get down). Meanwhile Chris Evans had a shocker! OK – he was down, but given the scale of the audience that isn’t so terrible. Down 6% on the quarter, and 0.5% on the year in terms of reach.

In London, it’s not been a great quarter for Global. Capital drops below 2m again, although it puts on a few hours. Capital Xtra seems to be suffering badly in the same week that Ofcom rejected complaints about it straying from its format – down to just 323,000 (it used to get around half a million as Choice).

But the really bad news is Heart. It’s down to 1.4m reach and just under 8m hours – 21% and 31% falls on the previous quarter. It’s difficult to say what this is. They had some appalling RAJARs a couple of quarters or so back, but looked like they’d improved until this quarter.

And I can’t say it has been a stellar RAJAR for Bauer in London either. Kiss was down 3% in reach and 10% in hours on the quarter, and 9% in reach and 8% in hours on the year. Magic is modestly up on the quarter in reach and hours, but worryingly down 16% on the year in hours.

That all means that Capital gets sole rights to be number one in London in reach and hours.

Finally, I should say something about digital, because it’s now reached 37.8% of listening – a new high. DAB is up to 24.5% of listening, a new record, and internet listening (including phone apps) is up to 6.4%.

(Trying Datawrapper for charts for a change)

And yes – I’m missing my bubbles. They’ll follow soon(ish) – so you’ll have to put up without them for the time being.

For more RAJAR analysis, I’d recommend the following sites:

The official RAJAR site
including another nice infographic
Radio Today for a digest of all the main news
The recently renamed Media.Info (née Media UK) for lots of numbers and charts
Paul Easton for analysis
Matt Deegan may have some analysis
Media Guardian for more news and analysis
One Golden Square for more Absolute Radio details
The BBC Mediacentre for BBC Radio stats and findings
And there are always RAJAR Smilies
Source: RAJAR/Ipsos-MORI/RSMB, period ending 14 September 2014, Adults 15+.

Disclaimer: These are my views alone and do not represent those of anyone else. Any errors (I hope there aren’t any!) are mine alone. Access to the RAJAR data is via RALF from DP Software as mentioned at the top of this post.