RAJAR today released their Quarter 2 2011 radio listening results and, the good news is - it’s more good news for radio. Last time out (Q1 2011), the number of listeners and the total number of listening hours recorded were hailed as record breaking and this latest release brings equally good news.
The number of listeners each week increased by around 500,000 adults and remains at 92% of the national 15-plus population. The total listening hours have increased from 1.06 to 1.08 BILLION hours of radio listening recorded across the last three months.
These are huge numbers which continue to serve as proof that there is definitely a place and relevance for radio in today’s media-heavy world.
Looking at the BBC/Commercial split, the numbers are pretty stable. The BBC stations account for 68% of listeners while the commercial stations register 65%. All BBC radio hours have fallen slightly by 434,000. This has a knock on effect on the overall share which has reduced by one percentage point to 54%. Meanwhile a boost of 18.5 million hours to the commercial listening has added to their share which is reported as 43.7%.
On these occasions it’s often too easy to look at the headline stations – Radio 2 remains the most listened to station, reaching 27% of us each week. The big national DJs continue to rack up millions of listeners to the national breakfast shows – Chris Moyles has dropped slightly to 7.4 million listeners to the BBC Radio 1 breakfast show while Chris Evans has shed around 500,000 to the equivalent show on BBC Radio 2 and is reporting 8.7 million listeners.
However there are some smaller local radio stations reaching huge proportions of their local populations and are just as worthy of a mention here.
This quarter for example Channel 103FM on the Channel Islands was listened to by 57.2% of the population making it the highest reach station this quarter. Bauer’s Radio Borders in Scotland isn’t far behind with 56.6%. Local commercial radio on some of the other islands are also connecting with high proportions of their inhabitants – Island FM 104.7 on the Isle of Wight also attracts over half the population (51%) in an average weekly reach. Similarly 50% of the Isle of Man’s residents tuned to Manx Radio according to the latest figures, underlining radio’s importance to all parts of the UK, however densely or sparsely populated.
Given the increased number of ways of listening to whatever station you choose using such platforms as the web-based RadioPlayer or picking up the digital stream of the nationwide networks like Magic, Kiss, Heart or Capital through digital TV, the number of listeners continuing to tune to their local commercial station is impressive and a demonstration of how important they are to everyday life.