Controversy is raging about a leaked batch of monthly Rajar figures
which reveal that the number of listeners has dropped dramatically
across a raft of radio stations.
Concerns hinge on the new methodology which has been adopted by Rajar
for gathering audience data. Stations believe it has wrongly revealed a
drop in audiences. Concern is such that Rajar was forced to address the
issue at a board meeting this Thursday.
The BBC is reported to be very unhappy with the figures, and speculation
has mounted this week that it is to pull out of Rajar.
While monthly figures are made available to stations, agencies only
officially receive quarterly data.
Data for the fourth quarter of this year were the first to be released
since Rajar changed its research methods last month. They reveal that
reach is down across most national stations, although listening hours
The differences have been magnified in the wake of Rajar revealing this
week that average weekly listening hours for Radio 1 are 11.1 million,
Talk Radio 2.2 million, and Classic 4.7 million, while the new figures
indicate that Radio 1 has lost 1.1 million listeners, Talk Radio
700,000, and Classic 800,000.
David Lees, sales and marketing director at Talk Radio, said: ‘Our
monthly plans are, to some extent, structured around these figures, but
they are not representative figures in their own right.’