RAJAR Q4 2013: more people than ever listening to radio after record-breaking quarter

These figures are wonderful news for the radio industry and Britain’s love affair with radio shows no signs of cooling."Helen Boaden, Director, BBC Radio
  • Radio more popular than ever in the UK
  • Record reach for Radio 4
  • Radio 2 and Chris Evans audiences at all-time high
  • Records for digital-only stations 6 Music and Asian Network
  • Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw adds 700,000 listeners in quarter

New figures published today show radio listening is at its highest level since records began in 1999, with more people than ever tuning in to a station from BBC Radio’s distinctive portfolio.

The data published by RAJAR shows 48.38 million people (91% of the population aged 15+) listen to radio each week, with a record 36.22 million choosing BBC Radio stations (compared to 35.19m last year and 35.11m last quarter).

BBC Radio’s share of listening remained steady at 55.2%, (from 55.3% last year and 53.4% last quarter) as the overall radio audience grew.

Helen Boaden, Director of BBC Radio, said: “These figures are wonderful news for the radio industry and Britain’s love affair with radio shows no signs of cooling. We are a nation of audiophiles and so, despite the ever-increasing competition for people’s time and the growing range of online audio providers, radio is thriving in the digital age. I’m delighted that the BBC’s distinctive portfolio of stations is proving so enduringly popular and helping the UK radio industry go from strength to strength.”

Radio 4 posted a record weekly reach of 11.21 million during the period (September 16 to December 15), up from 10.87m last quarter and 10.75m last year. Its share of 12.5% was the same as last year and up on last quarter’s 11.8%. The Today programme has 7.14 million listeners each week, from 7.05m last year and 6.81m last quarter.

Radio 2’s weekly audience grew to a new high of 15.51 million, from 15.11m last year and 14.94m last quarter. The station’s share of listening remained level with last year’s 17.6%. The Chris Evans Breakfast Show drew a record audience of 9.82 million listeners every week – compared to 9.35m last quarter and 9.52m last year.

Radio 1 attracted 10.97 million listeners during the period (in line with 10.83m last quarter and 11.09m last year) with a share of 6.9%, (from 6.6% last quarter and 7.4% last year). The Nick Grimshaw Breakfast Show added 700,000 listeners over the quarter to register a weekly audience of 6.29 million (5.58m last quarter and 6.69m last year).

Radio 3 has a weekly audience of 1.99 million listeners – compared to 2.03m last quarter and 2.06m last year. The network’s share is 1.1%, from 1.2% last quarter and 1.3% last year.

BBC Radio 5 live posted a combined reach with sister station 5 live sports extra of 6.53 million listeners, up from 6.27m last year and level on last quarter’s 6.53m. Share for Radio 5 live (inc. sports extra) is 4.5% (4.5% last quarter and 4.6% last year).

Among digital-only stations, Radio 6 Music and Asian Network attracted record numbers of listeners; Radio 6 Music drew 1.96 million listeners - from 1.89m last year and 1.73m last quarter - while the Asian Network saw its audience rise to 668,000 – from 453,000 last year and 555,000 last quarter.

Elsewhere, Radio 1’s sister station Radio 1Xtra posted a reach of 1.09 million weekly listeners across the period (from 1.04m last year and 1.19m last quarter), whilst Radio 4 Extra attracted 1.65 million listeners per week (from last quarter’s 1.59 million and last year’s 1.69 million).

BBC World Service’s weekly UK audience was 1.41 million (from 1.46m last year and last quarter), while BBC Local / Regional radio reached 9.32 million listeners per week - from 9.14m last year and 9.26m last year.

For Further Information:

Radio 1 and 1Xtra – CD2

Radio 2, 6 Music and Asian Network – AF/KA

Radio 3 – AH

Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra – LZ

Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra – VO