Commercial radio continues its lead over BBC stations

Commercial radio has proved itself the market leader for the seventh quarter in a row as the latest set of Rajar figures gives the sector a 2.1 per cent lead over the BBC, with a 49.9 per cent share against the corporation’s 47.8 per cent.

Commercial radio has proved itself the market leader for the

seventh quarter in a row as the latest set of Rajar figures gives the

sector a 2.1 per cent lead over the BBC, with a 49.9 per cent share

against the corporation’s 47.8 per cent.



London’s Melody Radio, recently bought by Emap, recorded a 1,126,000

reach. The station, which is gradually being rebranded under Emap’s

Magic banner, has increased its share from 4.4 per cent to 5.2 per cent

year on year. It has put on 128,000 listeners in the past three

months.



Capital Gold has come back as London’s second most popular station after

Capital FM, having been overtaken by Heart FM for the past two

quarters.



Also in London, Jazz FM increased its hours year on year from 1,423,000

to 2,388,000.



However, Virgin Radio has lost 331,000 listeners nationally - FM and AM

frequencies combined - since last quarter, dropping below the four

million mark to record 3,913,000. The drop has been partly attributed to

Chris Evans’ long holiday over the summer. The station is up year on

year in share, reach and hours.



Talk Radio’s listeners seem oblivious to the uncertainty surrounding its

future. The station’s reach increased by almost 250,000 listeners year

on year to 2,399,000.



The BBC had mixed results in the last quarter. The number of Radio 4

listeners fell dramatically - as was widely predicted - to 7,682,000,

down from 8,254,000 in the second quarter.



Radio 1, however, is beginning to pull back some listeners after a

steady fall for several periods in a row, with 9,739,000 listeners

tuning in each week compared with 9,356,000 in the last quarter.



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