It’s Rajar Q3 2022!!

Good news for digital Radio

41 million adults aged 15+ are now tuning in to radio via a digitally enabled platform (DAB, DTV, Online, App, Smart Speaker) each week. 66% of the population claim to own or have access to a DAB radio. 74% of the population tune in to digital radio every week. 66% of weekly listening hours are consumed digitally. Listening via a DAB has 39% share of listening, Online has a 24% share and DTV is 4%.

A General overview

  • 88.8% of the adult UK population that’s 49.7 million adults tuned in to radio in Q3
  • Radio weekly hours are up at 1.02 billion from 998 million in Q2
  • Live radio average listening hours 20.6 hours per week
  • Commercial radio reached 5.2m listeners more than BBC radio
  • 41 million adults are reached via a digitally enabled platform weekly

National Commercial Stations

  • Global has 24.4% share with 246m hours with 25.4m listeners a week.
  • Heart is the UK’s biggest commercial radio brand with over 10m listeners. It’s the most listened to commercial station in London with 1.8m weekly reach.
  • Capital has the second largest reach after Heart with a weekly reach of 7.4 m, down 3.5% year on year across the UK,
  • Smooth Radio remains the UK’s third largest commercial radio station, with 5.6 million weekly listeners, up 123,000 listeners .
  • Radio X has increased its listeners by 70,000 now nearly 2m weekly listeners.
  • Virgin Radio has lost 7% of its listeners with Chris Evans Breakfast listeners also decreasing from 869,000 listeners to 776,000
  • KISS has grown to 2.7m listeners, up 7.2% yearly as has Magic to 2.8m

Local Commercial Stations

  • Heart South Wales’s reach is 450,000 up from Q2’s 396,000 with an average of 8 hrs per listener.
  • Radio Pembrokeshire’s weekly Reach has dropped from 23,000 to 20,000, Radio Carmarthenshire’s weekly reach is 143,000, both reaching 19% of the population in their areas.
  • Capital South Wales has a reach of 196,000 with average listening hours of 3.9 hours, an increase of 8,000 listeners.
  • Capital North Wales and Heart North Wales have increased their listeners by 7,000 and 25,000 respectively.
  • Nation Radio’s reach has increased by 18,000 to 150,000 a reach of 8%
  • Easy Radio Wales (was Swansea Bay radio) has lost listeners and has a reach of 11,000 down from Q2’s reported 14,000

If you would like to advertise on radio please contact our experienced team.

RAJAR Returns!


After 18 months,  RAJAR has returned with interesting data highlighting a consumer listenership shift due to the pandemic and a new way of measuring audience figures.

We have collated a few highlights and top-line figures for you.

RAJAR measuring methods

These were conducted via an app running that identified radio stations by matching exposure to a stations audio output rather than face to face data gathering

Radio Audiences

This RAJAR shows that 89% of the UK population (15 yrs.+) is reached by radio each week.

Commercial radio reaches 66% of the population per week, for an average of 8.6 hours a week.

62% of the population is exposed to BBC radio per week –  72% of over 45s and 50% of under-55s

BBC Radio 2 accounts for 26% of all listening per week, with BBC Radio 1 following at 15%.

Global accounts for the highest amount of listening across its various stations, with 23.5% market share. Listening hours across its radio network grew 5% year on year versus Q1 2020, and now stands at 236 million hours.

Decline in younger audiences

Results show a decline in younger audience listenership despite DAB and other digital formats now accounting for well over 60% of total listenership. There were 6.6 m young listeners in 2016 versus 5.9m this RAJAR. In the last five years 15-24s have reduced their radio listening by 40%. Between now and the last RAJAR, the drop’s been 17%. This audience is listening to less radio stations. In 2016 they listened to 3.4 stations versus 2.8 now. Youth stations targeting 15-24’s are losing reach… Radio 1 reach dropping from 8.9m to 8.2m, Kiss down from 3.5m to 2.7m. Capital though saw an increased reach to 6.5m from 6.3m, but still suffered a young audience fallout as did 1Xtra.

Younger audiences typically listen to more commercial radio than audiences over 45 – 69% vs 64%.

How and when audiences are listening

34% of radio listenership takes place across AM and FM stations, versus 66% in digital. Of the digital total DAB accounts for 43%, with online and in-app making up 18% – and DTV listenership accounting for 5%.  Radio is listened to by 32.5% of consumers through the internet weekly.

Times have changed with the breakfast peak now at 10am instead of 8am and drive time peak duration lessened from 4-6pm to 4pm. This is undoubtedly how the pandemic has changed listener times…. Hybrid working and working from home has clearly impacted listener patterns. Certainly working from home means people are listening for longer and more intently.

RAJAR on a local level

Some great new here in Wales, Heart reaches 20% of the population in their TSA with a reach of 395,000,  Nation Radio is closing the gap on Capital with a reach of 155,000 compared to Capital’s reach of 159,000 with Nation Radio having a 6.0 average hours per listener against Capitals 6.1. The smaller local stations faired well in their TSA’s too with radio Pembrokeshire having the highest reach of 30% followed by The Wave with 23%. And a 10.4% listening share.

To add to the positive outcomes of RAJAR, advertising spend on radio is forecast to grow by 18.6% this year, underpinning marketeers faith in utilising this platform to have their message heard

If you have any questions about radio advertising, contact our team today!

RAJAR Q1 2019: The Results

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.

Quick Stats


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.

If you want to make sure you’re using your marketing budget to its full potential, then give our team a call on 02921 320 200 or email at [email protected]

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.

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