Commercial radio is growing as a medium for advertisers targeting the elusive 15- to 24-year-old market, according to the latest figures from Rajar.
Its fourth-quarter results show that, year on year, commercial radio gained 100,000 listeners in this age range with 5.4 million listeners tuning in each week.
Children in the four- to 14-year-old market are also listening to more radio. Commercial radio has 6.4 million listeners in this age group, a growth of 300,000 year on year. Children tune in for an average 9.6 hours a week.
The improvement in youth and children's audiences came despite a general fall in listening for commercial radio. Its share of listening fell from 46.7 per cent in the third quarter to 46 per cent in the fourth. BBC's share was up slightly to 51.7 per cent, owing to an increase in local listening figures. In terms of reach, commercial radio just beat the BBC.
It attracted 30.87 million listeners compared with the BBC's 30.82 million.
Commercial radio stations catering for the youth market experienced the most significant growth in listening. Kiss FM, Galaxy 105 and Xfm all increased share and total hours.