BBC radio reaches record audiences

Radio 2, Radio 4 and Asian Network presenters Radio 2, Radio 4 and Asian Network drew record audiences

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BBC radio reached its biggest ever audience when nearly 36 million people tuned in during the second quarter of 2013.

According to ratings from Rajar, Radio 2 attracted a record average of 15.4m every week, while Radio 4 drew a new weekly high of 11m.

Digital station Asian Network also reached their largest audience, drawing a weekly average of 587,000 listeners in the period between April and June.

Helen Boaden, director of BBC Radio, said the record figures were "a testament to the hard work of everyone involved with the networks and they should be proud of their efforts".

There was a slight increase in ratings for Nick Grimshaw's Breakfast Show on Radio 1, which drew 5.9m compared to 5.8m in the last quarter.

Encouraging signs

The station is tasked with attracting more listeners under 30 and expected to lose older audiences when DJ Chris Moyles, who drew nearly 7m, left last year.

Breakfast audiences

  • Radio 1 5.89m
  • Radio 2 9.75m
  • Radio 3 0.62m
  • Radio 4 6.97m
  • Radio 5 live 2.59m

Its weekly reach was 11m, down by 2.2% from last year but up by 7.4% on the previous quarter.

There was good news among BBC Local and National stations as their total audience rose year-on-year by 6.4% to 9.5m.

English Regions controller David Holdsworth said figures were "encouraging".

"This demonstrates that we remain valued by our listeners, and we'll continue to provide quality local public service broadcasting to develop listener growth in the long term," he added.

Mobile growth

Nations' ratings

Jason Mohammad
  • Local radio in England 7.2m
  • Radio Scotland 948,000
  • Radio Ulster 543,000
  • Radio Wales (above) 499,000
  • Radio Cymru 141,000

Around 91% of the UK population that are aged 15 or over - or 48m adults - tuned into BBC or commercial radio.

But Radio 3 and 5 live saw their audiences slightly fall year-on-year to 1.99m and 6m respectively.

Digital station Radio 1Xtra reached 1.1m while 6 Music experienced a 30% year-on-year growth, drawing 1.8m.

Around 1.36m UK listeners also tuned in to the BBC World Service.

Mobile listening increased by a third among adults to 24%. However, among those aged between 15 and 24, this figure rose to 43%.

Boaden said growth in overall digital listening showed that radio was adapting to rapid technological advances. She added: "It's particularly exciting to see the number of younger listeners coming to radio through mobile devices".

Weekly reach Q2 2013 Q2 2012 Q1 2013

All BBC radio

35.9m

34.4m

35.1m

BBC network radio

32.64m

31.45m

31.87m

BBC radio for Nations/Local

9.54m

8.96m

9.53m

Radio 1

11m

11.3m

10.3m

Radio 2

15.4m

14.5m

15.3m

Radio 3

1.99m

2.04m

2.16m

Radio 4

10.98m

10.52m

10.76m

Radio 5 live

6.04m

6.15m

6.29m

1Xtra

1.11m

1.14m

1m

Radio 4 Extra

1.57m

1.64m

1.64m

5 live Sports Extra

0.95m

1.07m

0.86m

6 Music

1.8m

1.38m

1.81m

Asian Network

0.59m

0.55m

0.55m

World Service

1.36m

1.39m

1.3m

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