Archive | October, 2014

RAJAR Q3 – The Headlines

23 Oct

The RAJAR figures for quarter 3, 2014 are out, here’s some headline numbers and thoughts…

The London battleground remains as keenly fought as ever with Capital and Magic fighting for top spot. Capital London is no 1 in London for both reach and hours with increased average hours to 5.4 and share up to 5.3%

Magic 105.4 has pulled a rabbit out of the hat and seen its reach positively levitating to 1.96 million.

Possibly the biggest story is the near across-the-board thunderous performances of DAB Digital stations. With big increases for The Hits, Planet Rock, Jazz FM, Heat and the extraordinary Absolute 80s. In fact Absolute 80s now reaches 1.43 million weekly listeners. All this comes in the context of falling sales of DAB radio sets, so it will be interesting to see whether DAB stations can translate listener numbers into ad spend numbers.

Nationally, talkSport didn’t have as great a world cup as it was hoping for, a bit like England. Indeed, England’s early exit probably put talkSport’s figures on the defensive somewhat – a drop of 7% after last quarter’s gains – not what the physio ordered.

In Scotland, Heart and Smooth can both raise a wee dram as they see their reach go up by 14% compared to last quarter. In recent times both stations have seen some serious swings though, so the results are probably part uplift and part correction. Global’s investment ££££s in supporting those brands has obviously helped.

Over the water in Northern Ireland, the Q Network has had the luck of the Irish with reach up 21%. Whilst U105 is up 8% in reach and 15% in hours.

In Wales, local ILR stations have generally seen a downward trend in reach and hours but bucking the trend is Nation Hits – up 20% in reach and 51% in hours – they’ll be singing in the valleys over that one!

Regionally, one the highlights is XFM Manchester – it still has indie appeal and has increased its weekly reach by a very impressive 29%.

Locally, there’s a lot of love for the KM group in Kent. They’ve just seen their best figures ever with a total hours increase of 72% with KMFM East leading the charge – individually increasing total hours by 83%

It’s loud and clear that Signal 107 is doing the business in Wolverhampton with weekly reach up 92% from 24,000 to 46,000 listeners each week – a stunning performance. Staying in the Midlands, Free Radio Coventry and Warwickshire had a barnstormer which is good to see and probably slightly overdue.

All in all commercial radio is in tip top shape as its healthy appetite for combined reach continues to eat away at the BBC’s overall lead. BBC’s advantage is now just a teensy sliver of the pie chart with only 800,000 listeners more than commercial radio.

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

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