Radio in Wales: RAJAR Q4 2019

Although we’re in 2020 it’s time for the last quarterly RAJAR of 2019! Time to see how the radio stations of Wales performed as we left the decade.

Top-line Stats

  • 87% of the UK population tune into radio every week, a slight drop from 88%.
  • On average a listener tunes into 20.3 hours of live radio per week.


Overall, it was a pretty dismal last quarter for the stations we surveyed.

In Q3, Heart South Wales’ reach jumped up 59,000 to 453,000, the biggest increase of all the stations The Media Angel surveyed. However, in Q4 their reach was down 48,000 to 405,000. Their % reach also fell by 3% to 21%.

After a positive Q3, The Wave 96.4 FM’s reach dropped by 23,000 to 114,000 in Q4, bringing them back down to Q2’s figures. Their % reach also fell by 5% to 24%.

Kiss (West) experience an increase of reach in Q3, up to 386,000, however in Q4 their reach declined by 27,000 to 359,000. Their reach % dropped marginally by 1%, to 14%.

Smooth North West and Wales’ increased by 12,000 to 61,000 however Smooth South Wales’ reach decreased by 20,000 to 77,000.

Local stations in Swansea experienced minor decreases. Swansea Bay Radio’s reach decreased by 2,000 to 24,000. Swansea Sound’s reach also declined by 7,000 to 29,000.

Capital received mixed results in Wales. Capital South Wales’ reached decreased significantly by 33,000 to 180,000 while Capital North West and Wales increased slightly by 3,000 to 126,000. Capital South Wales’ % reach also declined by 3% to 17%, while Capital North West and Wales remained steady at 12%.

% Reach and listener hours remained relatively unchanged across the board, with most stations seeing a slight decrease.

Heart South Wales retains the highest listening hours with 9.3, although this is down slightly from 9.5 in Q3.

Kiss (West) has the lowest listener hours at 4.1, a decrease from 4.6 in Q3.


Over the last two quarters, the biggest national story has to be the loss of listeners on Zoe Ball’s breakfast show on Radio 2.

Between Q1 and Q2 of 2019, Ball’s figures fell from 9.05 million to 8.27 million after she took over from Chris Evans. In Q3, figures fell again to 7.9 million listeners, the lowest audience figures for the Radio 2 breakfast show in a decade.

However, in Q4 it seems at last this trend has reversed. Ball’s breakfast show attracted an average weekly audience of 8.24 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, an increase of 335,000.

Chris Evans left Radio 2 to join Virgin Radio, and despite promising initial listening figures, they remained flat in Q3 at 1.1 million. In Q4, Evans has added 79,000 listeners to his show.

Greg James on BBC Radio 1 lost 237,000 listeners, bringing his average weekly audience to 4.81 million.

Overall, the Heart brand across the UK remains the biggest commercial radio brand, with 9.523m weekly listeners – though this is down from 9.8m last quarter and 9.7m a year ago. Heart’s national breakfast show with Jamie Theakston and Amanda Holden saw a drop of 272,000 listeners compared to Q3/19 – but at 4.287m is still the country’s biggest commercial radio show.

Image result for heart amanda and jamie

The Capital brand lost 8% of its reach in the last 12 months, dropping to 7.595m from 8.251m – with 720,000 listeners shed from the main Capital network across the UK.

The Smooth brand is also down on both the quarter and the year, while Classic FM fared better – increasing audiences from 5.3m a year ago and 5.1m in Q3 to 5.461m this time. Gold is up slightly to 1.282m.

At Bauer, its 2019 digital stations Scala and Country Hits Radio each now have just under a quarter of a million listeners each. Scala is on 249,000 (up from 231k in Q3, but down from the Q2 debut of 258k). Total hours for Scala are the highest they’ve been at 1.571m.

Image result for scala radio

Greatest Hits Radio and the Greatest Hits Network have both increased from their debuts in Q3/19, with the brand now reaching 1.264m a week (up from 1.209m last quarter).

The ‘Hits Radio Brand’ (including Greatest Hits and non-Hits branded stations such as Radio City, Metro, Hallam and Clyde) is up 8% year on year to 6.657m.

KISSTORY saves the day for the Kiss brand though – with a 22.1% annual increase in audience size thanks to move from SDL to D1. The Kiss Network though drops 5% to 5.2m.


  • 66% of the population tune into digital radio every week. DAB has a 70% share of listening hours, Online with 21% and DTV with 8%.
  • 94% of smart speaker owners use it to listen to audio content e.g. radio, music, podcasts.

So which radio station is right for you?

If you want to make sure you’re using your marketing budget to its full potential and using the right radio station(s) to reach your target market, then give our team a call on 02921 320 200 or email at [email protected].

BBC News, Radio Today, RAJAR
Please scroll to view whole table.

Station / Group Pop. (000s)Q2 2019 Reach (000s)Q3 2019 Reach (000s)Reach up or down (000s)Q2 2019 Reach %Q3 2019 Reach %Reach % up or down (%)Q2 2019 Avg. Hours Per ListenerQ3 2019 Avg. Hours Per ListenerAvg. Hours per listener up or downTotal Hours (000s)Q2 2019 Listening Share in TSA %Q3 2019 Listening Share in TSA %
102.5 Radio Pembrokeshire 1023632-435%31%-4%5.85.5-0.31768.7%7.90%
106.3 Bridge FM 1322222017%17%0%4.84.4-0.41004.4%4.00%
96.4 FM The Wave479137114-2329%24%-5%77.40.484010.6%10.10%
Capital North West and Wales1038123126312%12%0%
Capital South Wales1058213180-3320%17%-3%
Heart North Wales 729127124-317%17%0%
Heart South Wales1923453405-4824%21%-3%9.59.3-0.2374911.4%10.80%
Kiss (West)2512386359-2715%14%-1%4.64.1-0.514563.7%3.10%
Radio Carmarthenshire and Scarlet FM1392926-321%19%-2%6.66.4-0.21707.1%6.60%
Nation Radio Wales 17601415514118%9%-9%
Smooth Radio North West and Wales 10384961125%6%1%
Smooth Radio South Wales10589777-209%7%-2%9.48.7-0.76734.6%3.60%
Swansea Bay Radio (surveyed as Nation Hits!) 4792624-25%5%0%6.54.8-1.71171.8%1.40%
Swansea Sound – 1170 MW 4793629-78%6%-2%5.84.4-1.41282.3%1.50%

Radio stations surveyed:

102.5 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 (surveyed as Nation Hits!), Nation Radio Wales, Swansea Sound – 1170 MW

Take a look at our blog

Keep up to date with the latest industry news

By using this site you accept the Terms of use | Privacy policy | Cookie policy | Sitemap

Ⓒ The Media Angel Ltd 2023. All rights reserved.