I wonder if you’ve ever heard of the ‘Internet’? Also known as the World Wide Web it is a new thing that’s hit recently and is catching on, particularly in the world of radio. The news of this coincides with the RAJAR Quarter 2 2012 data which went live on Thursday 2 August. Along with the good and less good results for stations (which will be covered here), we may be witnessing the beginnings of a ‘radio.com’ revolution.
According to the new data and picked up in other blogs, listening online and via apps is on the up. First though, it is worth noting that Digital listening overall has broken the 30% barrier – 31.5% of all listening takes place on a digital platform. This is up from 29.2% in Q1 and 4.6 percentage points up on this time last year. DAB listening accounts for 20.1% of all listening, again up year on year and DTV remains stable at 4.7%, however listening online had increased 0.7% points, from 3.9% to 4.6%, this may not seem much but it’s actually a 13% jump, this becomes a 37% increase year on year, which is starting to look pretty impressive. This may be down to the increase in smartphone ownership, proliferation of radio apps and the growth and awareness of Radioplayer over last 12 months or so. As I’ve previously asserted, online listening has to be the way forward for the digital revolution, it’s just so much easier. The infrastructure already exists as there are increasingly more ways of being connected – you can even get a wifi fridge should you have the money and the inclination. I like the ‘internet’, I think it may just catch on.
Back to the Quarter 2 RAJAR and we seem to be witnessing a bit of a slip in All Radio listening which on a national level has dropped from 90% to 89% (although to 1 decimal place it’s 89.8 to 89.4 which is less marked). Considering we were at 92% this time last year, while not yet a crisis, it does seem like quite a decline. It has been a bit of an atypical quarter, we’ve had events such as the Jubilee and the European Football Championships, both of which were available on free to air TV and arguably are more popular on the big screen. It’s also been a pretty wet summer, which can be seen to drive the potential radio listener towards the TV. With the Olympics currently under way and summer still not exactly hitting hard, Quarter 3 looks set to be a similarly unusual period so we’ll have to see if things pick up in a few months time.
At a station level it’s been quite a good quarter for some of the digital stations: Radio 4 Extra has done well, posting a record audience of 1.636 million while Planet Rock continues its trend of steady increase and is nearing 1 million listeners, now reaching 948,000 people in an average week. Also worth a mention are the Absolute stations – the Network as a whole has exceeded 3 million listeners across all of their stations – 3.177m now tune in, looking at the trend for the Network it wasn’t that long ago that posted around half of this. The addition of the decade themed stations (60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s) seems to have helped strengthen their portfolio.
In London there is the usual jostling for positions, Capital has held on to top spot in terms of listeners (2m), despite a fall on last quarter, Magic (1.95m) comes in second followed by Heart (1.93m) and Kiss (1.87m). However turning to hours of listening, Heart comes out top with 10.9 million, Magic second (10.3m), Kiss third (9.5m) and Capital fourth (9.4m). Looking at these, it’s all pretty close and likely to switch around in coming quarters.
And what of the breakfast shows? There should be little surprise that Chris Evans on Radio 2 still tops the list with 8.9 million listeners each week, however the soon to depart Chris Moyles has slipped below 7 million (6.927m) and is being caught by The Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 (6.764m) despite both losing audience compared to last year. This is Moyles’ penultimate RAJAR with Nick Grimshaw replacing him in September which will be covered from Quarter 4. Commercially things look pretty stable, Classic FM remains the most listened to breakfast show nationally followed closely by Kiss, Absolute and talkSPORT, while in London, Capital stays top of the list, reaching 1.1 million each week.
So this is Quarter 2, onwards to Quarter 3. In the meantime, the internet revolution has reached RAJAR who have just released a new app, why not check it out on your mobile device by going to app.rajar.co.uk on the browser and follow the instructions to install.