RAJAR Q2 2010: Absolute gains traction in national radio sector

UTV's national commercial station TalkSport increased its audience year on year and period on period in the second quarter of 2010, while Absolute Radio increased its weekly reach period on period for the first time since its rebrand from Virgin.

Absolute: increases weekly reach
Absolute: increases weekly reach

According to the radio audience measurement survey Rajar, TalkSport recorded an average weekly reach of 2.507 million listeners between 29 March and 27 June, an increase of 4.2% year on year and 5.9% quarter on quarter.

Talksport's total hours, the important trading metric for media agencies, was an average of 17.5 million per week, down 2.9% year on year but up 7% quarter on quarter.

Absolute Radio, which rebranded from Virgin Radio in September 2008, had an average weekly reach of 1.587 million listeners, down 6.2% year on year but up 13.2% quarter on quarter.

The total number of hours for Absolute Radio increased to 11.8 million in the second quarter, up 4% year on year and 6.5% quarter on quarter.

Global Radio’s Classic FM had an average weekly reach of 5.684 million listeners, the largest of any national station, which represented a decline of 0.6% year on year but an increase of 3.1% period on period.

The total number of hours adults listened to Classic FM was 38.6 million, down 2.9% year on year but up 4.3% quarter on quarter.

NME Radio had a strong Rajar with an average weekly reach of 253,000 people, up 17.7% year on year and 11.9% quarter on quarter despite switching its live broadcast to a juke box service on 11 June.

Bauer Media’s Magic network, which targets a similar audience to that of BBC Radio 2, had an average weekly reach of 3.733 million, up 2.6% year on year but down 1.3% quarter on quarter.

Aside from Magic the majority of networked stations report their Rajar figures half yearly rather than quarterly so figures are averaged over the first six months of 2010.

Global’s Heart network continues to have the biggest audience of any commercial radio brand with an average weekly reach of 7.776 million people, up 4% quarter on quarter and 5.6% year on year. The Heart network will serve the same area but from 15 stations rather than 34 by the end of the year.

The Galaxy network, also owned by Global Radio, had an average weekly reach of 4.239 million, up 14.1% year on year and 6.7% quarter on quarter.

Global Radio-owned Gold network, which became a national service at the end of June, had an average weekly reach of 1.288 million, up 16.1% year on year and 8.4% quarter on quarter.

GMG’s Smooth Radio, which is to switch from a network service to a national service in October, had a good quarter reporting an average weekly reach of 2.801 million, up 1.5% year on year and 6.1% quarter on quarter.

Boosted by the success of the Rickie & Melvin breakfast show Bauer Media’s Kiss network also performed strongly with its weekly reach up to 3.746 million, a rise of 4.6% year on year and a boost of 10.1% quarter on quarter.

National digital only station Planet Rock recorded its highest figures with a weekly reach at 718,000, up 3.5% quarter on quarter.

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