UK radio is performing strongly according to the Rajar audience
figures for the first quarter of this year, with the industry adding more
than 33,000 hours of listening quarter on quarter.
Commercial radio’s share of listening has increased nationally and
locally, helping the sector close the gap on the BBC. The BBC’s share
slipped 0.3 per cent to 51 per cent.
Capital Radio’s overall average weekly audience fell by 86,000 listeners
quarter on quarter. Its flagship, Capital 95.8 in London, lost 10 per cent
of its listeners to take an average audience of 2.7 million a week.
Meanwhile, London-based alternative station Xfm increased its weekly share
by 9.7 per cent to 420,000 quarter on quarter.
Capital was the only group to report falling figures in more than half of
its stations (53.3 per cent) for this Rajar period.
For Emap, almost three-quarters of stations showed an improved weekly
reach. And out of GWR’s 38 reporting stations, 24 (63.2 per cent) reported
Emap’s North-west and Yorkshire divisions are burgeoning, with weekly
reach growing 4.9 per cent and 5.9 per cent respectively. Emap’s Magic
brand is building an audience, with network reach up 5.2 per cent to 2.6
Over at Kelvin MacKenzie’s Wireless Group empire, the picture is also
rosy, with 75 per cent of stations turning in growing audiences. The
rebranded Big AM stations are doing well, with the Stockport-based
licensee increasing its audience from 52,000 to 89,000 in just three
While they are much smaller groups, Chrysalis and Border Radio reported
increasing audiences for every one of their stations. Chrysalis’s Galaxy
network increased its reach by 8.3 per cent to 2.3 million. Border’s three
Century stations increased their audience by 8.1 per cent to 1.5
Border is in the process of being acquired by Capital, a merger that will
create the UK’s largest radio operator.
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