Radio 2 and 6 Music reach record audiences

Chris Evans Chris Evans' breakfast show on Radio 2 drew 9.5m weekly listeners

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Radio 2 drew a record weekly audience of 15.1 million listeners during the last quarter of 2012 (Q4), according to the latest Rajar data.

Its digital sister station 6 Music also continued to grow its audience, reaching a record high of 1.9m - a year-on-year rise of 31%.

Chris Evans' breakfast show on Radio 2 remains the most popular programme with 9.5m weekly listeners, compared to 8.9m a year ago.

Graham Ellis, acting director of BBC Audio & Music, described Radio 2's ratings as "remarkable".

Evans' audience growth almost mirrors the fall in listeners to Radio 1's breakfast show, which saw Nick Grimshaw replace long-standing presenter Chris Moyles in early autumn.

The Rajar data, which covers the period between September and December last year, revealed the Radio 1 show lost half a million listeners, with 6.7m tuning into Grimshaw.

Radio 1 management hopes the 28-year-old presenter will bring in a younger audience after the station was tasked by the BBC Trust to lower their average listener age to under 30.

Nick Grimshaw and David Attenborough David Attenborough was a recent guest on Nick Grimshaw's breakfast show

There was a slight year-on-year drop in breakfast audiences for news programming, with Radio 4's Today and Radio 5 live Breakfast drawing 7.04m and 2.48m respectively, compared with 7.14m and 2.51m in Q4 2011.

Radio 3's breakfast programme attracted 0.6m, less than the 0.7m audience a year before.

The data also showed year-on-year falls in the audiences for Radio 1 (11.1m); Radio 3 (2m); Radio 4 (10.75m) and 5 live (6.1m).

Digital growth

In total, 47m (90% share) tuned into UK radio, with the audience for all BBC radio services rising to 35.2m (55.3%).

However, there was a slight decline in listeners to BBC radio for the Nations and local areas - they drew a total of 9.1m, compared to 9.6m for the same period in 2011.

Start Quote

It's good to see growth in our digital networks”

End Quote Graham Ellis Acting director, BBC Audio & Music

Despite reach for BBC local radio in England falling from 7.3m (17.4%) last year to 6.9m (16.4%) in these latest figures, English Regions controller David Holdsworth, said: "It's good to see listeners continue to value the journalism, debate and interaction with local life offered by BBC Local Radio."

Audiences grew year-on-year for digital stations 1Xtra (1m), Radio 4 Extra (1.7m) and 5 live Sports Extra (0.8m).

But there was a fall in ratings for BBC Asian Network (0.45m), which had been hitting consecutive highs in the previous quarters.

The UK reach of BBC World Service increased to nearly 1.5m.

Around a third (33% share) of all UK radio listening was via a digital platform, with DAB radio the most popular device (21.1%).

In a period which saw the launch of the BBC iPlayer radio app for smartphones, 19% of people aged 15 or older claimed to listen to radio via a mobile phone, compared to 15% in Q4 2011.

The share of listening via digital TVs also rose to 5.1% and the online share increased to 4.9%.

Ellis said: "It's also good to see steady and, in some cases, spectacular growth in our digital networks and in digital listening across the industry."

Weekly reach Q4 2012 Q4 2011 Q3 2012

All BBC radio

35.2m

34.9m

34.7m

BBC network radio

32m

31.64m

31.59m

BBC radio for Nations/Local

9.1m

9.6m

9m

Radio 1

11.1m

11.7m

11.2m

Radio 2

15.1m

14.3m

13.9m

Radio 3

2.06m

2.1m

2.15m

Radio 4

10.75m

10.83m

10.85m

Radio 5 live

6.1m

6.2m

6.1m

1xtra

1.04m

1.01m

1.11m

Radio 4 Extra

1.7m

1.55m

1.69m

5 live Sports Extra

0.85m

0.62m

1m

6 Music

1.9m

1.4m

1.62m

Asian Network

0.45m

0.47m

0.58m

World Service

1.46m

1.39m

1.39m

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