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Rajar figures (Oct-Dec 2012) and Radio 4 / Radio 4 Extra

Friday 1 February 2013, 10:50

Chris Hutchings Chris Hutchings

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Chris Hutchings (Research Manager for Radio 4, 4 Extra and Audio & Music Interactive) discusses the latest Rajar results, which cover October - December 2012.

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The latest set of radio listening figures are in (for October-December 2012), and once again it's good news for Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra.  In a typical week 10.8m adults tune in to Radio 4 (equivalent to 1 in 5 of the UK population) and 1.7m to Radio 4 Extra!

Whilst listener numbers are down slightly on the previous quarter (-91k and -9k respectively), it's worth bearing in mind that July-September saw near record numbers for Radio 4 and record numbers for Radio 4 Extra.  Indeed the current Radio 4 numbers are the 5th highest we've seen since the current RAJAR survey began back in 1999, and the 2nd highest that Radio 4 Extra has seen.

Looking at how long we're all listening for, the numbers are up.  Across a typical week we listen to a staggering 130m hours of Radio 4, that's the highest number since the record breaking April - June 2011.  And whilst different listeners will tune in for different amounts of time, it's good to see the average time spent listening to Radio 4 also increasing, from 11 hours and 48 minutes last quarter to 12 hours and 4 minutes.

Large numbers of us continue to tune in each week to listen to news programmes (9.4m), with The World At One posting particularly good numbers (up +160k on July-September to 3.5m).  Whilst the total number of people tuning in for drama on Radio 4 also held steady (at 6.8m), the numbers tuning in for comedy were up, +200k to 5.7m.  A shout out should also go to Woman's Hour, where we've seen record listener numbers - 3.25m of us tune in each week between 10am and 10.45am Monday-Friday.

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    Comment number 1.

    Yes, generally good news, and although the reach and total hours are holding up well, there is a worrying slow decline over the last 7 years in the 'hours per listener' for R4, down from a peak 13.4 to the current 12.1. Hours per listener is generally taken as a measure of whether an audience likes what they hear - Rajar stats do not distinguish between a programme listened to in its entirety and a programme listened to for just 5 minutes and then turned off.

    On 4Extra's reach, I think there is proof that its real reach is far greater than the the Rajar 'live-only' stats show. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/blogradio4/posts/rajar?postId=113314458#comment_113314458


    (sorry, can't do an inline link anymore, because the function has been turned off in the new comment system)


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