And Here Is The Radio News…

We’ve just seen out the first month of 2024 and we are coming to you with the latest radio listening numbers for the Q4 2023 period.

One sector of the market that will be of importance more than ever in 2024 given it’s an election year here in the UK and many countries around the world is the radio news sector. We already know from research that radio is one of most trusted sources of news and information nationally and locally.

Importantly, research also tells that this trust transfers to advertisers.

Multi-tiered news offering

From national and international news stories and debates that are catered for by specific news and speech stations to music stations providing news updates and specific regional and local news, the medium is multi-tiered and caters for all aspects of the news agenda, whatever a listener’s interest.

News station performance

The two stations showing the biggest growth this quarter are GB News, which now reaches 430,000 listeners (up 40%), followed by talkRADIO at 725,000 listeners (up 19.2%). These two stations simulcast from their TV outputs and serve up the news with a strong dose of opinion.

While LBC remains the largest Commercial Radio news and speech station by a long way at 2,467m listeners, it’s marginally down by 3% yoy. Times Radio dipped by 12.6% and listenership now stands at 492,000. The other news station in the market is LBC’s sister station, LBC News. LBC news is different in style to the main station, is based on a rolling news format, and reaches a significant audience of 810,000 (down 7.2%).   

TalkRADIO’s Breakfast Show is hosted by Jeremy Kyle and Nicola Thorp

The Magic is happening…

Quite rightly it’s been nonstop headlines for Greatest Hits Radio at Bauer towers, and the station has performed well again.  However, it’s Magic that takes our eye this time, with significant increases. Nationally the station is up 18.2 % with a weekly audience of 3,422m and in London Magic is up 27.4% to 1,670m.  That makes it the second largest station in London behind Global Radio’s Heart, which was up 10.9% with 2,003m listeners.

Smooth operator

Smooth from Global, similarly to Magic, competes for the 35/40+ listeners.  It also competes for headlines with Global’s higher profile brands Heart and Capital. We are highlighting its performance because the Smooth Network is up to 5,473m listeners, an increase of 6.4%. Global are also investing in the brand and are currently running a marketing campaign including TV advertising, so we’ll keep an eye out next time around to see what effect this marketing has. 

Overall sector and multi-platform listening

It’s another good performance from the Commercial Radio industry, with Commercial Radio weekly listenership up 2.8% to 39,130m, reaching 69% of the Adult 15+ population. The share of multiplatform digital listening (listening via DAB, TV, online, apps and smart speakers) now stands at 72%, which is up 8.1% yoy and 2.4% on the last quarter.

We’ll see you again on Thursday 16th May for first results for 2024.

RAJAR Q4 2023
National StationsReach 000sYonY Change %National NetworksReach 000sYonY change %London StationsReach 000sYonY change %
Classic FM4,689-5.7Heart Network UK8,8382.1Heart2,00310.9
Magic3,42218.2Greatest Radio Hits Network6,85056.8Magic1,67027.4
talkSPORT3,0814.6Hits Radio Network6,330-4.6Capital1,618-0.8
Absolute Radio2,35911.0Capital Network UK5,871-0.7Greatest Hits Radio1,44253.9
Kiss2,349-0.6Smooth Radio Network UK5,4736.4LBC1,394-3.5