The first quarterly results of RAJAR 2019 have been released, and across Welsh radio, some stations have seen significant drop in reach figures.
In this RAJAR blog, we’ll take you through some new statistics, local and national performance and digital news.
Heart North Wales reach fell from 118,000 to 112,000. This is a further decrease in reach from Q3 and Q4 2018 when it fell from 146,000 to 118,000.
Heart South Wales hasn’t fared any better, with reach falling from 463,000 to 410,000, a further decrease from Q3 and Q4 2018 when it fell from 482,000 to 463,000. However, their listener hours did increase by 1.2 over the last quarter. Heart North Wales also had an increase in their listener hours by 0.8.
Capital North West and Wales saw reach jump from 130,000 to 146,000. This is growth on top of Q3 and Q4 2018 when it increased from 116,000 to 130,000.
However, Capital South Wales’ reach decreased from 224,000 to 217,000, putting an end to the growth they saw in Q3 and Q4 of 2018 when reach increased from 210,000 to 224,000.
This may be surprising after Capital’s long-running ‘Cash Call’ promotion that their listener hours haven’t increased. Both stations’ listener hours decreased; Capital North Wales and West by 1.2 and Capital South Wales by 0.7.
Kiss (West) saw a significant decrease in reach from 449,000 to 372,000 with their listener hours also down marginally.
Smooth Radio North West and Wales’ reach increased greatly from 58,000 to 71,000, a growth of 21,000.
96.4FM The Wave’s growth slowed as they saw a decrease in reach from 145,000 to 143,000, down on last quarter where they saw an increase from 123,000 to 145,000. However, their listener hours grew by 0.5.
Of the stations we looked at, Radio Pembrokeshire held the highest % reach with a 35% reach of the population, followed by 96.4 FM The Wave with 30% reach. Capital South Wales and Heart South Wales both have a 21% reach of the populations.
Radiocentre has said commercial radio owners’ investment in new talent and brands has seen the industry’s ratings reach a new high of 36.1 million listeners for the first quarter of 2019.
Rajar, the body responsible for measuring radio audiences in the UK, has reported that there are now 1.7 million more people listening to commercial radio stations than the BBC radio networks combined – BBC Radio 4’s audience decline was noted at 750,000 in a year.
This is the largest lead that commercial radio has ever had over the BBC. Epitomising this perhaps is BBC Radio 2 host Chris Evans move to ad-free Virgin radio, or Simon Mayo’s move to Bauer Media’s recently launched Scala.
The positive stats from Rajar claimed that 66% of the population listens to commercial radio stations each week – and 89% to radio overall. It added that total listening hours for commercial radio were up 1.6% year-on-year.
News UK’s Virgin Radio saw traffic up “seven-fold” during the first 10 weeks of Evans’ breakfast presenting gig.
The ad break-free show, delivered by partner Sky, secured 1.05 million, around 4.5 million weekly listening hours which was a five-fold growth quarter-on-quarter and seven-fold growth year-on-year for the year in the same spot.
Radio and advertising giant Global celebrated its channels Heart, Capital, Classic FM and Smooth taking the top four spots. It noted LBC gets highest ever reach in its 47-year history (more than 2.3 million weekly listeners) – an increase of 90,000 listeners in the past year – as a particular high point.
Bauer Media noted that its reach was 17.7m (which was up 1.1% year on year). In the period there were two new channel launches in Scala Radio and Country Hits Radio that it hopes to scale up in the next quarter.
In an average week, digital listening accounts for 577 million hours. DAB has the biggest share of digital listening hours with 73%, followed by online with 18%.
41% of 15-24 year old social media users claim to receive updates about their favourite radio station or presenter.
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Sources: RAJAR , The Drum
Stations surveyed: Radio Pembrokeshire, 106.3 Bridge FM, 96.4 FM The Wave, Capital North West and Wales, Capital South Wales, Heart North Wales, Heart South Wales, Kiss (West), Radio Carmarthenshire and Scarlet FM, Radio Ceredigion, Smooth Radio North West and Wales, Smooth Radio South Wales, Swansea Bay Radio, Nation Radio South Wales and Swansea Sound – 1170 MW.