The breakfast show has long been the lynchpin of a radio station’s
schedule, seen as the point at which listeners will either stick with
the station for the day or wander off down the dial.
Most stations’ listening graphs will peak at around 8.15am with an
audience size that will not be matched until the next morning.
The result of these large audiences is a concentration of adspend across
the breakfast period. MMS figures recently compiled by Admap/CIA show
that the 7am to 9am slot took more than 20 per cent of commercial
radio’s ad revenue - or pounds 110 million - in the 12 months up to
Chris Tarrant’s programme on Capital FM is the biggest earner, taking
over pounds 14 million across the period, way above its closest rival,
Chris Evans on Virgin, which took pounds 6.5 million. Capital’s
breakfast programme attracts around half a million listeners between 6am
and 10am, while Virgin’s breakfast audience is around 315,000.
Excluding London and national stations, Clyde 1 FM was the most
lucrative at breakfast time, taking pounds 2.8 million in the year to
August, an annual increase of 24 per cent. In third place is national
station Classic FM, whose breakfast ad revenue increased by 21 per cent
year on year to almost pounds 6 million.
Looking at the commercial radio average across the breakfast period, the
audience of 35- to 54-year-old is slightly larger than that of 15- to
34-year-olds . This reverses after 5.30pm, when the number of older
listeners drops below that of their younger counterparts.
Figures from MMS also show that breakfast-time adspend is greatest at
the beginning of the week and then tails off towards the weekend.
In the 12 months to August, Monday and Tuesday took the most breakfast
revenue, with Monday at around pounds 7 million and Tuesday only
Friday took less than pounds 6 million and Saturday is by far the
weakest day, taking just over pounds 3 million.
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