Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Press Release

RAJAR: BBC Radio listening highest for three years

  • Largest listening hours since 2008
  • Radio 1 reaches new number one
  • Record for 5 Live Sports Extra, buoyed by Test Match Special

BBC Radio has its highest listening hours for three years, according to data published today by RAJAR.

The figures show that the British public listened to 586 million hours of BBC Radio every week during the measurement period (27 June – 18 September), the largest total since Quarter 1, 2008. This also means the average BBC radio listener now tunes in for nearly 17 hours per week.

Elsewhere, the new data shows Radio 1 is more popular than ever. The station reached 11.85 million people each week, its biggest audience biggest since new research methodology was introduced in January 1999.

Tim Davie, Director BBC Audio – Music, said: "It is excellent to see people listening to so many hours of BBC Radio. In particular, the record Radio 1 figures reflect both the distinctiveness of its programmes and the strength of an outstanding team.

"I'm also very pleased to see that the combined efforts of the radio industry are resulting in a clear transition of listeners into digital radio. The rise in internet listening is noteworthy and represents encouraging growth in the sector."

All BBC Radio has a weekly reach of 34.86 million, from 34.24m last year and 35.53m last quarter, and a share of 54.5%, from 54.3% last year and 54% last quarter.

Radio 1's record reach of 11.85 million is up from 11.65m last year and 11.69 last quarter, while its share of listening increased to 9.1%, from 8.5% last quarter and level with last year. The Chris Moyles Show attracted 7.16 million listeners every week – from 7.10m last year and 7.44m last quarter – and Radio 1's sister station, Radio 1Xtra, posted a weekly reach of 904, 000 - from 806,000 last year and 992,000 last quarter.

Radio 2 tipped 14 million listeners for the fourth time, registering an audience of 14.31m (13.68m last year and 13.97m last quarter) and a share of 15.9% (15.6% last year and 14.9% last quarter). The Chris Evans Breakfast Show attracted 8.86 million listeners every week, from 8.41m last year and 8.67m last quarter, giving the show its third highest ever reach.

Radio 3 has a weekly audience of 2.05 million listeners – compared to 2.15m last year and 2.17m last quarter. The network's share is 1.1%, from 1.2% last year and last quarter.

Radio 4 reached 10.56 million people each week – up on last year's 10.37m but down from last quarter's record of 10.85m – with a share of 12% (11.8% last year and 12.4% last quarter). The Today programme attracted 6.76 million listeners per week (from 6.51m last year and the previous record of 7.18m last quarter) and Radio 4 Extra maintained its popularity following its rebranding, posting a reach of 1.53 million – from 1.05m last year as Radio 7 and 1.61m last quarter.

Radio 5 Live posted a combined reach with sister station 5 Live Sports Extra of 6.43 million listeners, from 6.44m last year and 6.68m last quarter.

5 Live Sports Extra reached a record average 1.15 million listeners every week during the quarter, boosted by its Test Match Special coverage of England versus India.

Share for Radio 5 Live (including Sports Extra) is 4.6% (4.9% last year and last quarter).

Radio 6 Music attracted 1.23 million listeners per week during the period (1.20m last year and 1.27m last quarter), while the BBC Asian Network's weekly reach was 507,000 – up from 462,000 last year and 471,000 last quarter.

BBC World Service posted a UK reach of 1.50 million, from 1.32m last year, while BBC Local / Regional radio reached 9.50 million listeners per week – from 9.14m last year and 9.65m last quarter.

Weekly reach – BBC Radio
Reach in thousands      
  Sep 10 Jun 11 Sep 11
All BBC 34,243 35,530 34,863
All BBC Network Radio 31,018 32,108 31,723
Radio 1 11,647 11,692 11,850
Radio 2 13,682 13,966 14,309
Radio 3 2,145 2,174 2,052
Radio 4 10,368 10,854 10,555
Radio 5 Live 6,295 6,542 6,237
Radio 5 Live (inc Sports Extra) 6,439 6,676 6,431
BBC Local/Regional (inc Nations) 9,144 9,645 9,499

Weekly reach – BBC Digital Radio
Reach in thousands      
  Sep 10 Jun 11 Sep 11
5 Live Sports Extra 648 797 1,150
BBC 6 Music 1,196 1,270 1,229
1Xtra 806 992 904
BBC Radio 4 Extra 1,045 1,605 1,526
BBC World Service 1,319 1,720 1,501
BBC Asian Network UK 462 471 507

Weekly share – BBC Radio
  Sep 10 Jun 11 Sep 11
All BBC 54.3% 54.0% 54.5%
All BBC Network Radio 45.4% 45.4% 46.1%
Radio 1 9.1% 8.5% 9.1%
Radio 2 15.6% 14.9% 15.9%
Radio 3 1.2% 1.2% 1.1%
Radio 4 11.8% 12.4% 12.0%
Radio 5 Live 4.7% 4.6% 4.1%
Radio 5 Live (inc Sports Extra) 4.9% 4.9% 4.6%
BBC Local/Regional (inc Nations) 9.0% 8.6% 8.3%

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