RAJAR Q1 2012 Topline analysis and impressions

17 May

Stories galore abounding this RAJAR.

In London, listeners performed a Heart bypass, Kiss went 3rd, Magic stayed still and Capital remained loud and proud at number 1.

Smooth bounced back somewhat……XFM…..oh dear.

In the regions, we saw Jack FM start to pick up our much predicted momentum in the central south. We saw Heart Kent and KMFM battle for the South East with only KMFM East emerging with bragging rights.

East Anglia saw a surprisingly huge dip for Heart but Radio Norwich picked up some of that slack (so my cab driver in Norwich in February was right).

The Midlands saw BRMB’s finale deliver a comeback that will excite Orion’s Free Radio future and a lot of jostling took place as the area geared up for a much more telling RAJAR next time.

NE and NW saw a mixed bag with some Bauer gains and losses, Aire down in Leeds, Viking strong in Hull, Capitals staying steady, KCFM having a large one in Hull, Lincs FM going from strength to strength. Real Yorkshire had its best result in 6 years and Juice in Liverpool turned in outstanding metrics across the board (roll out the brand? Get swallowed up?). The major Manchester market battle saw Capital Manchester down 18% in hours (ouch) and licking its market share wounds. Yet Key 103 hours were slightly down but market share was up 2.5%. So it was BBC Radio Manchester that picked up much of the slack with market share up by nearly 30%.

XFM oh dear.

Scotland saw steady performances from all the usual suspects and Real Scotland just carried on growing and breaking new boundaries. Footnote for Original up in Aberdeen who moved up and on providing real competition there.

Nationally, Classic lost a little but was steady, Talksport stayed static too, Absolute had a big one – their brand extensions, independent attitude, content irreverence and internal drive to redefine radio is an inspiration to many (including us).

As an industry Radio held its nerve and continued to defy its oversimplistic digital detractors. Growth maintained, it lives, it breathes, it grooves, it moves – Radio’s got the staying power for sure.

Perhaps the biggest message of all was the up, up and everywhere stats for mobile listening. 17% of adults listening to radio on mobiles, 24% increase in that figure. Apps, smartphones, click thru – it all just shows how radio’s voice, intimacy, choice and emotion is an irrepressible force and instinct that will travel through and bubble up within – whatever media tech we throw at it.

For detailed analysis of regions, stations, issues and the analogue, online, digital, mobile and on demand stats – your Radio Experts are on hand to put you in the picture. Let’s chat.

Tim Cowland is a Founder Partner at Radio Experts, a London based specialist radio advertising agency. tim.cowland@radioexperts.co.uk. @timcradioexpert

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