Commercial radio beats the BBC in Rajars

Commercial radio has regained its lead over the BBC in the latest set of Rajar figures, with a 49.2 per cent share of all UK radio listening against the BBC’s 49 per cent.

Commercial radio has regained its lead over the BBC in the latest

set of Rajar figures, with a 49.2 per cent share of all UK radio

listening against the BBC’s 49 per cent.



This reverses the situation of last quarter, when the BBC stole a march

on commercial with 50.3 per cent over 47.5 per cent respectively. The

survey also shows that, overall, radio listening has increased.



While year-on-year comparisons are still largely irrelevant - this being

only the second consecutive quarter using new research methodology -

quarter-on-quarter results show that commercial national stations have

largely recorded decreases in listening.



Virgin Radio’s audience continues to decline, with its total UK reach -

including the London FM figures - dropping from 4,643,000 to

4,157,000.



Chris Evans’ breakfast show has shed nearly one third of its audience in

London since the last quarter.



The AM stations (with the exception of London’s Capital Gold) have all

lost listeners, seemingly to FM rivals rather than BBC stations. Yvonne

Scullion, head of radio at Zenith Media, commented: ’Many of the AM

stations have been reprogrammed and rebranded, and carry a lot of

syndicated programming, which seems to have had a detrimental

effect.’





UK RADIO LISTENING (quarter ending 27 June 1999)

                           Weekly      Weekly         Total    Listening

                            reach       reach         hours        share

                           (’000)         (%)        (’000)          (%)

BBC Radio 1                10,946          23       102,631         10.3

BBC Radio 2                 9,850          21       123,975         12.5

BBC Radio 4                 9,195          19       106,215         10.7

Classic FM                  5,981          12        41,613          4.2

BBC Radio 5 Live            5,948          12        40,914          4.1

Virgin Radio (AM only)      3,283           7        22,061          2.2

Talk Radio                  2,268           5        17,830          1.8

Atlantic 252*               2,053           4         9,105          0.9

BBC Radio 3                 1,948           4        12,834          1.3

All BBC                    30,437          63       486,785         49.0

All commercial             31,757          66       489,036         49.2

All radio                  42,989          90       994,023        100.0

Source: Rajar/Ipsos-RSL * The majority of Atlantic 252’s listening takes

place within its defined Total Survey Area, which covers approximately

66 per cent of the population.



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