Ignoring all the flaws in methodology, let’s look at ten nuggets of info from the latest radio station listening figures published today by RAJAR.
1. At 5.9 million, Nick Grimshaw’s Radio 1 breakfast show is still bringing in 900,000 fewer listeners than that of his predecessor Chris Moyles, though he has found 100,000 new listeners in the last quarter, with BBC research suggesting that 70% of these are in Radio 1′s target 15-24 age bracket (a sizeable portion of the Moyles listenership being outside that core demographic).
2. But that does mean that the Radio 1 breakfast show now lags behind Radio 4′s Today programme, which saw its audience rise in the last quarter. The Chris Evans breakfast show on Radio 2 remains by far the biggest show on British radio, despite its audience slipping slightly this time.
3. Nevertheless, following a number of schedule changes, including the move of Grimshaw to breakfast, Radio 1 saw its weekly audience rise by over 750,000 people in the last quarter to eleven million. So, plenty to smile about there.
4. Both Radio 2 and Radio 4 scored record listening figures this quarter (ie their highest since current RAJAR system began in 1999). Radio 2′s weekly audience was 15.44 million, while Radio 4′s audience rose to 10.97 million.
5. On the digital spectrum, the Asian Network saw its audience rise from 554,000 to 587,000, while the 6music audience slipped slightly, from 1.81 million to 1.79 million.
6. Into the commercial domain, Absolute Radio, just acquired by Bauer, saw its listening figures rise by 17.5% quarter-to-quarter, topping 1.98 million. If you include the spin-off digital stations run by Absolute, the company has an audience of 3.76 million.
7. In London, Global’s Capital FM wins the breakfast show battle, with the Lisa Snowdon and Dave Berry fronted show reaching 1.1 million listeners a week. Sister station Heart had the second biggest breakfast show in the capital, while Bauer’s Kiss FM saw its primetime show move into third place, ahead of breakfast on another Bauer station Magic.
8. It was a good quarter for Kiss in general, which increased its audience by nearly 25%, making it the second biggest station in London, just behind Capital FM – 2.18 million weekly listeners from Capital, 2.01 million for Kiss. Heart and Magic were pushed into third and fourth place respectively.
9. The Real and Smooth stations, although in limbo while Global Radio deals with a tough Competition Commission ruling regards its acquisition of the networks, has increased its network-wide audience to 5.7 million, up 260,000 year-on-year, and 163,000 quarter-on-quarter.
10. Digital listening – ie consumption of radio via a digital platform (including DAB, TV and online) – is up again, 16% year-on-year. 28 million people now listen to radio digitally, with 24 million apparently having access to a DAB digital radio receiver. In terms of listening hours, 58.6% still happens via the FM and AM networks, though that falls to 48.4% if you take out in-car listening.