Competition in the volatile London radio market is hotting up with
a number of stations suffering a slip in weekly reach, according to the
latest Rajar figures.
Among the stations that suffered during the fourth quarter of last year
were Kiss 100, Virgin FM, London News Radio and Heart 106.2. Their
weekly reach and total listening hours fell compared with the previous
three months. Virgin, Kiss and LNR were also down year on year.
Capital Radio’s weekly reach and total hours dipped as commercial radio
slid behind the BBC in the fight for listeners. Total radio listening
also continued to fall.
However, Capital’s average hours per listener and its total share of
listening was up quarter on quarter.
London News Radio recorded the most disappointing figures, with weekly
reach dipping from 924,000 listeners in the third quarter to 697,000 in
the fourth quarter. During that period, the FM station was relaunched as
London News Direct.
Elsewhere, there was good news for Classic FM, which saw its reach climb
from 4.6 million to 4.7 million quarter on quarter. However, Atlantic
252’s reach slid from 3.8 million to 3.6 million in the same period.
Overall, commercial radio’s share of listening dipped to 48.3 per cent
from 48.8 per cent in quarter three. Meanwhile, BBC Radio’s share of
listening climbed from 48.9 per cent to 49.6 per cent quarter on
quarter, while Radio 2 overtook Radio 1 in terms of share of
David Fletcher, head of radio at CIA Medianetwork, said: ’The Capital
result is good news. Although it has lost some weekly reach, holding on
to and developing loyalty is a good idea for the market leader.’
Elsewhere, there was good news for Talk Radio which appears to have
finally buried its shock-jock image. The station’s reach jumped from 2.1
million to 2.3 million and share of listening climbed from 1.8 per cent
to 1.9 per cent, quarter on quarter. Virgin AM also saw its weekly reach
improve from 2.8 million to 2.9 million in the same quarter.