BBC Radio 4

Record share for BBC Radio in RAJARs release

The latest quarterly RAJAR listenership figures (September-December ’05) for the UK have produced a record share for the BBC’s radio services with 55.1% of all listening. In addition, the breakfast shows on the two main channels have added listeners: Radio 1’s Chris Moyles has added 370,000 weekly listeners year on year for Radio 1, and Terry Wogan on Radio 2 has added 300,000 listeners this quarter.

The Director of BBC Radio & Music Jenny Abramsky said: “Congratulations to Chris Moyles and Terry Wogan, whose unique presenting styles continue to attract listeners. It’s also exciting to see that more and more people are listening to radio through new, digital platforms.”

Radio 1’s reach is 10.29m, stable on the quarter (10.33m) and up on the year (9.92m). Share, at 9.2 per cent, is also up on the year (8.2%) and steady on the quarter (9.4%).

Radio 2’s strong performance continues, with a reach of 13.25 million (13.31m last year and 12.86m last quarter) and share of 16 per cent, up on the quarter (15.6%) but slightly down on the year (16.4%).

Radio 3 has 1.97 million listeners – slightly down on the quarter (2.07m) and the year (2.1m). Share is stable at 1.2 per cent against the same figure for last quarter and 1.3% last year.

Radio 4’s share is up to 11.8 per cent – the station’s highest since quarter 1 2003, during the Gulf War – and up from 11.5% last quarter and last year. Reach dips to 9.32 million from 9.62m last quarter and 9.41m last year.

Radio Five Live – which records a combined reach with its digital service Five Live Sports Extra – has a reach of 5.78 million, against 6.05m last year and 6.17m last quarter. Share at 4.3 per cent is also slightly down on the year (4.4%) and the quarter (4.7%). This is an expected decline after a strong performance across the station during the Ashes.

BBC Local and National Radio’s reach is at its highest for almost two years at 10.44 million, showing a significant improvement on the quarter (9.86m) and the year (10.24m). Share is also up to 11.1 per cent, from 10.7% last quarter and 11% last year.

BBC Radio Ulster – including Radio Foyle – broke all previous records with a weekly reach of 614,000 listeners and a share of listening of 29.8 per cent.
Amongst the digital-only services, BBC 6 Music’s weekly reach has grown to 354,000 listeners, from 285,000 last quarter and 238,000 last year, while share is up to 0.2 per cent from 0.1% last quarter and year.

1Xtra has 352,000 listeners – up on the year (288,000) but down from last quarter’s record of 405,000. Its share is unchanged on last year’s 0.1 per cent but down on last quarter’s high of 0.3%.

BBC 7 consolidated its position, with a reach of 600,000, a marked rise on last year (391,000) and slightly down on the quarter (631,000). Its share, at 0.3 per cent, is stable on the quarter and up on the year (0.2%).

The BBC Asian Network has 420,000 listeners – down on 524,000 last quarter and 535,000 last year – while share is unchanged at 0.3 per cent.

Five Live Sports Extra has a total reach of 460,000 compared with 343,000 last year and 482,000 last quarter. Its share is unchanged at 0.1 per cent.

The BBC World Service has 1.35 million listeners – down on the quarter (1.42m) but up on the year (1.27m). Share is 0.7 per cent, up on last year’s 0.6% and stable on the quarter.



Newspaper: Radio enters a new golden age as digital use takes off

The Independent
Radio enters a new golden age as digital use takes off

The Independent – February 2nd 2007

By Terry Kirby, Chief Reporter

The digital revolution and the expansion of new ways of accessing information through the internet has given a huge boost to one of the older and more traditional forms of electronic media – the radio.

According to figures released yesterday, the digital age has created a new golden age of radio, with the number of listeners in Britain at a record high of more than 45 million every week.

The figure for the last three months of 2006 is the highest since Radio Joint Audience Research (Rajar) began compiling records in 1992, and is attributed to growing numbers of people tuning in on the internet, digital television and mobile phones.

Rajar said almost 8 per cent of people aged 15 and above listen to the radio on their mobile phones, a 24 per cent increase over the same period of 2005. A quarter of 15- to 24-year-olds said they tuned in this way. Listening over the internet rose by 10 per cent and by 9 per cent on digital television.

Podcasts are also more popular. More than two million people, the equivalent of 17 per cent of all owners of MP3 players, listen to the audio downloads – a rise of 15 per cent on the previous three months. The figures are likely to rise as more content is made available as a podcast.

Jenny Abramsky, the BBC’s director of audio and music, said: “It proves radio still plays an incredibly important part in people’s lives and, despite the range of new media available, listeners continue to value the close relationship they have with radio.”

The figures show a small decline in audiences for long-established BBC Radio 4 favourites The Archers and Desert Island Discs, programmes which have suffered recent upheavals and whose listeners are renowned for their loyalty and resistance to change. The Rajar figures show The Archers’ weekly audience is 4.4 million, 169,000 down on the previous quarter and 197,000 less than this time last year. Desert Island Discs also registered a shortfall, with 2.54 million tuning in compared with 2.69 million 12 months ago.

However, the falls were brushed aside by the Radio 4 controller, Mark Damazer, who said such fluctuations during the year were normal. “We’re very happy with the performance of the shows,” he said. Radio 4’s audience was 9.34 million.

Radio 2 remains the nation’s favourite station with an audience of 13.27 million – up 530,000 in three months. Terry Wogan added 330,000 listeners at the end of last year, lifting the total audience for his breakfast show from 7.65 million to 7.98 million. The afternoon presenter Steve Wright added 360,000 listeners in the last quarter, taking the audience for his show from 6.15 million to 6.51 million.

Radio 1’s audience of 10.26 million was down 320,000 on the previous quarter, which the station attributed to a seasonal dip. The breakfast presenter Chris Moyles bucked the trend by adding 100,000 listeners in that period to reach 6.82 million.

Jane Thynne, a broadcasting critic and writer, said BBC radio was benefiting more from the digital era than television. “The figures show that early adopters are prepared to embrace what has traditionally been seen as the more fustier of mediums.

“Radio, as something which is intensely personal, is also a much more suitable medium for podcasting than television… It’s essentially what radio has been doing for a long while anyway.”

The winners and losers


* Radio 2 increased its audience by 530,000 in the last three months of 2006, reaching 13.27 million listeners, the largest in the UK.

* Terry Wogan, the breakfast DJ, added 330,000 listeners, taking his total audience to 7.98m. Steve Wright, the afternoon presenter, added 360,000 listeners, taking the audience for his show to 6.51 million.

* In London, Jamie Theakston and Harriet Scott have become the capital’s most popular commercial breakfast hosts, with 948,000 listeners to their Heart FM show, up 180,000.


* Kirsty Young has lost listeners since taking over from Sue Lawley as host of Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs in October. Her audience was 2.54 million, compared with 2.67 million for the previous three months when Lawley was at the helm, and down from 2.69 million for the same period of 2005.

* The Archers’ weekly audience on Radio 4 dropped by 169,000 to 4.44 million, down 197,000 year on year.

* Capital Radio saw its audience fall from 1.8 million in the last quarter of 2005 to 1.4 million in the same period in 2006, a drop of almost 19 per cent.

BBC Radio 4 record highest share in latest RAJARs

BBC Radio 4 has added half-a-million listeners and recorded its highest share – buoyed by a strong performance from the Today programme – according to data released today by RAJAR .

The station now has 9.81 million listeners – up from 9.29m last year, 9.45m last quarter – and its highest reach since the start of 2003. During the measurement period (15 September to 14 December) it posted a record share of 12.4% – up from 11.8% last year and 11.5% last quarter.

The Today programme has 6.6m listeners, up nearly half-a-million on the quarter (6.11m), almost 400,000 on the year, and its largest audience since the end of 2001.

Tim Davie, Director BBC Audio & Music, said: “This quarter’s figures are good news for the radio industry, the BBC and particularly Radio 4. Radio 4 plays a unique role in the country’s cultural and news agenda and these results reflect its influential place in British life.”

All BBC Radio now has a reach of 33.52m (from 33.14m last year and 32.98m last quarter) and a share of 55.7% (from 55.4% last year and 54.9% last quarter).

BBC Radio 1 drew 10.58m listeners per week in the quarter, from 10.69m last year and 10.87m last quarter. Its share, at 10.1%, is up on last quarter (9.8%) but slightly down on last year (10.3%).

The Chris Moyles Show has 7.30m listeners – up from 7.02m last quarter and steady on 7.31m last year.

BBC Radio 2 has a weekly reach of 13.47m listeners – up from 13.06m last quarter and 12.82m last year. Share, at 15.8%, is level with the year (15.7%) and slightly down on the quarter (16%).

Wake Up To Wogan has 7.96m listeners tuning in each week (from 7.74m last quarter and 7.73m last year).

BBC Radio 3’s reach rose to 1.98m, from 1.95m last quarter and 1.95m last year. Share is 1.3% – up from 1.2% last year and last quarter.

BBC Radio 5 Live and its digital service BBC 5 Live Sports Extra recorded a combined reach of 6.11m – up on last quarter’s combined total (5.94m) but down on last year (6.17m). Combined share is up to 5.0%, from 4.8% last quarter and 4.7% last year. 5 Live Sports Extra has a weekly reach of 663,000.

In digital-only services, BBC 6 Music posted its sixth consecutive record reach, with 619,000 listeners, up on both year and quarter.

BBC Radio 7 has 850,000 listeners, the BBC Asian Network has 379,000 listeners and 1Xtra has a reach of 533,000.

The BBC World Service increased its reach to 1.43m – up from 1.18m last year and 1.36m last quarter.