Entertainment & Arts

Radio 1 gains 750,000 listeners after schedule changes

DJ Clara Amfo
Image caption Ben Cooper, controller of Radio 1 and 1Xtra, thanked Clara Amfo for "helping (the station) add three-quarters of a million listeners in such a short time"

BBC Radio 1 has recovered from record low audiences, and now reaches 10.44 million listeners a week, according to new figures from ratings body Rajar.

The station gained 737,000 listeners in the last quarter, thanks in part to new presenters Clara Amfo and Annie Mac.

Breakfast DJ Nick Grimshaw also increased his weekly reach by 344,000 to 5.84 million.

BBC Radio 2 remains the most listened to station in the UK, with 15.14 million tuning in.

In total, 48 million UK adults - or 89% of the adult population - tuned in to the radio every week between April and June, Rajar said.

Helen Boaden, Director of BBC Radio, said: "Radio is frequently underestimated so it's wonderful to see the whole market growing this quarter."

Image caption DJs Nick Grimshaw and Annie Mac are seen to be crucial in reaching younger listeners

What else is happening in radio?

  • Capital FM is the biggest commercial station in London with 2.2 million listeners
  • KISS closely follows with 2.12 million
  • LBC has its biggest ever London audience with 1.13 million
  • Heart has added 452,000 listeners to reach a nationwide audience of nearly 9 million
  • BBC 6 Music again is the biggest digital station, having lost the title to Radio 4 Extra last quarter. Both have around 2 million listeners
  • KISSTORY hits 1.5 million digital listeners, up 1.1 million from last quarter

Radio 1's recovery will be welcome news to the station's bosses. Results for the first three months of 2015 showed the station's audience dropping to its lowest level for more than a decade - at 9.7 million listeners.

At the time, Grimshaw had 5.5 million listeners, his lowest audience since succeeding Chris Moyles in 2012, and the breakfast show's smallest audience since 2003, when Sara Cox was at the end of her tenure.

The next set of Rajar figures will measure the impact of Apple's Beats 1 radio station, which poached Zane Lowe from Radio 1, along with several of the station's producers.

Apple told the BBC it had signed up 11 million people to its Apple Music service since it launched on 30 June.

That compares with 75 million active users on Spotify, 16 million on Deezer and 770,000 on Tidal.

"We're thrilled with the numbers so far," said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of internet software and services.

However, it remains to be seen how Apple's user base will change when the free, three-month trial period ends and it introduces a monthly subscription fee of £9.99.

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