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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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RAJAR 2011 Quarter 1: Radio listening reaches record levels

  • Radio more popular than ever in UK
  • Listening to BBC Radio reaches highest levels under current methodology
  • Record figures for Radio 4, Radio 1, Radio 1Xtra, Radio 6 Music and Radio 7 (now Radio 4 Extra)

Radio listening has reached record levels in the UK, with more people than ever tuning into BBC radio stations, according to data published today by RAJAR. (Radio Joint Audience Research Ltd).

The figures show that more than 35 million people tuned in to BBC Radio per week during the measurement period (January 3 to March 27) – the biggest total since new research methodology was introduced in January 1999.

The total was boosted by record performances from Radio 1 and Radio 4, and digital-only networks Radio 6 Music, Radio 1Xtra and Radio 7 (now Radio 4 Extra).

RAJAR statistics also show that 47.3 million people tuned into their favourite radio stations every week – 91.6% of the country's population aged 15+.

Tim Davie, Director BBC Audio & Music, said: "It is quite brilliant to see radio reaching a record number of listeners in the digital age. These results speak to the unique quality of radio in the UK and reflect our work as an industry to keep innovating to attract new listeners. From a BBC perspective, the record results reflect the unique strength of our programme makers and the growing value of distinctive radio stations."

All BBC Radio has a weekly reach of 35.07 million, up from 34.88m last year and 34.51m last quarter, and a share of 55%, down from 56.5% last year and 55.3% last quarter.

BBC Radio 1 attracted a record 11.83 million listeners per week in the quarter, compared to 11.42m last quarter and 11.74m last year. Its share – at 8.7% – is down on last quarter (8.8%) and last year (9.5%). The Chris Moyles Show now has 7.52 million listeners every week – from 7.45m last quarter and 7.88m last year.

BBC Radio 2 has 14.54 million listeners – from last quarter's 13.94m and last year's 14.57m. It has a share of 16% compared to 16.2% last quarter and 17.2% last year. The Chris Evans Breakfast Show attracted 9.18 million listeners every week, up from 8.72m last quarter and the record 9.74m last year.

BBC Radio 3 recorded its highest listening figures for seven years, with a weekly audience of 2.26 million listeners – up from last year's 2.03m and last quarter's 2.22m. The network’s share is 1.3% – up from 1.2% last year and last quarter.

BBC Radio 4 has its biggest audience under current methodology, boosted by record performance from the Today programme. The station has 10.83 million weekly listeners (from 10.03m last year, 10.32m last quarter and a previous record high of 10.4m) and a 12.3% share of all listening (12.2% last year, 12.1% last quarter). The Today programme now has 7.03 million listeners per week – up from 6.44m last year and 6.63m last quarter.

BBC Radio 5 Live has a reach of 6.65 million listeners – its ninth consecutive total (over three years) above six million and up on last year’s 6.48m, but down on last quarter's record 7.09m. Combined with sister station 5 Live Sports Extra, the networks reach 6.75 million listeners (from 6.56m last year and 7.21m last quarter) and have a share of 4.7% (from 5.5% last quarter and 4.7% last year).

In digital-only services, BBC 6 Music cemented its place as the UK's biggest digital-only station with a record 1.3 million listeners – up from 1.02m last year and 1.14m last quarter – while Radio 1Xtra continued to grow with its biggest ever audience of 892,000 weekly listeners – up on last year's 663,000 and last quarter's 816,000.

BBC Radio 7 – the network recently rebranded as BBC Radio 4 Extra – also posted a record reach (1.16 million listeners – from 1.05m last year and 941,000 last quarter) and the BBC Asian Network's weekly reach rose to half a million – up from 357,000 last year and 477,000 last quarter.

BBC World Service recorded its largest UK audience to date, with a reach of 1.79 million – a rise of 39% from 1.29m last year and up on 1.46m last quarter, while BBC Local/Regional radio reached 10.2 million listeners per week – up from 9.99m last year and 9.84m last quarter.

Weekly reach - BBC Radio
Reach in thousands      
  Mar 10 Dec 10 Mar 11
All BBC 34,877 34,505 35,074
All BBC Network Radio 31,318 31,128 31,889
Radio 1 11,737 11,421 11,825
Radio 2 14,569 13,943 14,537
Radio 3 2,025 2,216 2,258
Radio 4 10,029 10,319 10,829
Radio 5 Live 6,481 7,093 6,653
Radio 5 Live (inc Sports Extra) 6,563 7,212 6,750
BBC Local/Regional (inc Nations) 9,987 9,836 10,197

Weekly reach - BBC Digital Radio
Reach in thousands      
  Mar 10 Dec 10 Mar 11
5 Live Sports Extra 685 751 799
BBC 6 Music 1,023 1,137 1,297
1Xtra 663 816 892
BBC Radio 7 1,049 941 1,159
BBC World Service 1,288 1,459 1,790
BBC Asian Network UK 357 477 500

Weekly share - BBC Radio
  Mar 10 Dec 10 Mar 11
All BBC 56.5% 55.3% 55%
All BBC Network Radio 47.2% 46.4% 46.2%
Radio 1 9.5% 8.8% 8.7%
Radio 2 17.2% 16.2% 16%
Radio 3 1.2% 1.2% 1.3%
Radio 4 12.2% 12.1% 12.3%
Radio 5 Live 4.6% 5.3% 4.5%
Radio 5 Live (inc Sports Extra) 4.7% 5.5% 4.7%
BBC Local/Regional (inc Nations) 9.3% 8.9% 8.8%

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