BBC’s digital radio stations attract more listeners with records for Radio 6 Music programmes

Date: 02.08.2018     Last updated: 02.08.2018 at 09.19
As the majority share of radio listening continues to be digital, the BBC’s youth digital stations maintain steady growth.
  • Increased listeners to Radio 1Xtra and Asian Network compared to last year and last quarter, the latest RAJAR data shows
  • BBC Radio 6 Music continues to attract around 2.5m weekly listeners, an increase on last year with record listeners for programmes
  • Record share of Radio 1 listening via digital platforms
  • Increased share of listening to BBC radio across digital and online compared to last year

In the latest RAJAR data (Q2 2018: 2 April - 24 June 2018), the BBC’s stations for younger and diverse audiences attracted more listeners over the last quarter.

BBC Radio 1Xtra had a reach of 1.033m weekly listeners across the period (from 1.017m last quarter and 1.031m last year) and BBC Asian Network drew 672,000 listeners, compared to 628,000 last quarter and 646,000 last year. The Radio 1 Breakfast Show also increased to 5.29m weekly listeners from 5.1m last quarter.

This quarter 2.44m tuned in weekly to BBC Radio 6 Music (following a record number of listeners last quarter) compared to 2.23m last year and there were several records across the schedule: Radcliffe and Maconie, 1-4pm, weekdays (1.13m from 952,000 last year); Steve Lamacq, 4-7pm, weekdays (1.2m from 1.01m last year); Mary Anne Hobbs, 7-10am, Saturday and Sunday (731,000 from 527,000); Chris Hawkins, Monday - Sunday, 5-7am (338,000 from 254,000); The Huey Show, Saturday 10am-1pm (577,000 from 504,000 last year).

This is the second quarter that the majority of all UK radio listening is via digital (DAB, DTV, mobile and online). Younger listeners are increasingly coming to BBC radio though digital platforms. This quarter saw a record for digital listening by Radio 1 audiences and Radio 1 also had a record number of 16m weekly views on YouTube.

All BBC radio’s weekly reach over the period (Q2, 2 April - 24 June 2018) was 34.4m (35.01m last quarter and 34.9m last year) and a share of 51.7% (51.9% last quarter and 52.3% last year).

BBC Radio 1 posted a reach of 9.24m listeners (from 9.47m last quarter and 9.59m last year) - which rises to 10.25m when listeners aged 10 and over are included - while the network’s share of listening was 5.9% (from 5.6% last quarter and 6.2% last year). The Radio 1 Breakfast Show With Nick Grimshaw - the number one breakfast show for young audiences across the UK - now attracts 5.3m listeners per week, compared to 5.1m last quarter and 5.5m last year. Including all listeners aged 10+, the show now has a weekly audience of 5.83m.

BBC Radio 2’s weekly audience was 14.94m (from 15.41m last quarter and 14.88m last year) while the station’s share of listening was 17.9% (17.6% last quarter and 16.8% last year). The Chris Evans Breakfast Show attracted 9.04m listeners per week, compared to 9.12m last quarter and 9.01m last year.

BBC Radio 3’s audience was 1.91m (from 1.93m last quarter and 2.06m last year) and its share was 1.1% (1.2% last quarter and 1.2% last year).

BBC Radio 4 posted a weekly reach of 10.60m during the quarter (10.91m last quarter and 11.55m last year) and a share of 11.7% (12% last quarter and 12.3% last year). The Today programme has 7m million listeners each week (Monday - Saturday), from 7.22m last quarter and a record 7.82m last year during a quarter with significant news events such the General Election, terror attacks and the Grenfell Tower fire.

BBC Radio 5 live posted a reach of 4.73m listeners (5.14m last quarter and 5.32m last year) and a share of 3.1% (3.1% last quarter and 3.4% last year).

Amongst digital-only stations, BBC Radio 1Xtra had a reach of 1.03m weekly listeners across the period (from 1.02m last quarter and 1.03m last year) - which rises to 1.11m when listeners aged 10 + are included, BBC Radio 6 Music drew 2.44m listeners (from 2.53m last quarter and 2.23m last year), BBC Radio 4 Extra attracted 1.96m listeners per week (from 2.08m last quarter and 2.09m last year), and BBC Radio 5 live sports extra posted 1.17m listeners (from 969,000 last quarter and 1.25m last year).

BBC Asian Network drew 672,000 listeners, compared to 628,000 listeners last quarter and 646,000 last year.

The BBC World Service posted a weekly UK audience of 1.51m (from 1.43m last quarter and 1.59m last year).

BBC local radio reached 7.87m listeners per week, from 8.57m last quarter and 8.63m last year.

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