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Soundbites: The Week in Audio - 19.05.2017


RAJAR Q1 2017

Commercial Radio Takes Listening Lead Over BBC Radio

This week’s RAJAR publication read well for commercial radio with a 0.7% growth year on year, allowing the commercial side to take the lead on the BBC stations.

In total 89% of the adult (15+) population are listening to the radio, up almost 400,000 year on year.  Each listener is listening to radio 21.2 hours per week, on average.

National and Networks

Global Radio secures the top four commercial radio networks, with the Heart Network still the biggest at 8.96m listeners per week.

Capital Network records 8.3m listeners weekly, followed by Classic FM then the Smooth Network.

Bauer’s Kiss Network is down 6.6% year on year with 5.06m weekly listeners.

talkSPORT dropped below the 3 million listener mark, posting its lowest card in years.

Some good news for Bauer, the UK’s #1 Commercial Breakfast Show is retained by Kiss’s Rickie, Melvin and Charlie.

Digital Listening

Digital listening has continued to grow with almost 6 in 10 adults using a digital platform.

With 1.55 million weekly listeners Kisstory returns to the #1 commercial digital only station spot.

LBC meanwhile posted an incredible 52% growth in digital listening hours!

32 million people now tune in to radio via a digitally enabled receiver each week, that’s 59% of the population.


Capital London take the no1 spot in the city from Kiss, with 2.24m listeners. The top 5 stations are:












Capital Xtra has its lowest audience reach in over 2 years dropping to just 380,000 listeners. 

And Share looks like this: 











Magic London dropped to 570,000 listeners - a decline of 200,000 listeners quarter on quarter.

Scotland & Wales

The major Scottish stations, Capital Scotland, Heart Scotland, Clyde 1 and Forth 1, all took a tumble. The biggest fall being Capital Scotland which saw a 6% drop yoy.

Capital South Wales dropped to 192,000 down from 208,000 and Heart South Wales also saw a decline, falling to 451,000 from 487,000.

Local stations in Wales all saw increases in audience figures Nation Radio, Swansea Bay and Dragon radio increased their reach.

Regional Network & Brands

Capital Yorkshire continues to be the biggest station outside of London with 1.109m listeners with Smooth North West a close second with 1.102m.

The success in the Midlands went to Gem 106 who have grown quarter on quarter with an increased reach to 493,000 listeners.

Fellow Midland stations were less pleased with their results.

Free Radio Birmingham and Black Country dropped to it’s lowest ever figure with 267,000.

Heart West Midlands has reported its lowest weekly reach since its rebrand to 637,000 listeners from 709,000.

Capital Manchester grew to 604,000 listeners and Key 103 saw a recovery year on year with 399,000 listeners.

Yorkshire Coast Radio increased its weekly reach to 45% keeping its place as the station with the highest percentage reach!!  The team at Yorkshire Coast are very pleased with the result:-

Chris Sigsworth, Managing Director says “The last 12 months has seen several new stations launch in our market place, so to increase our reach at a time of increased competition is very encouraging, and a testament to the hard work of our team.”

To get a more in depth insight into the radio market and discover how your brand can take advantage of the listening population, get in touch with the Radio Results team here.