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