Commercial radio standing firm – RAJAR Q2 2018
In the week that commercial radio was heralded as the fastest growing medium in Q1 with revenue increasing 12.5% year on year, RAJAR results for Q2 represent a consolidation of its position in the market.
While overall commercial radio weekly reach showed a decline of 1% YOY it still reaches 35.5million listeners a week – 65% of the population. Importantly, commercial radio has now beaten the BBC in share for the sixth consecutive quarter.
This picture of consolidation is mirrored by share of listening via digital… For Q2 it stands at 50.2% – up 3% YOY – but is slightly down against the Q1 figure of 50.9%.
So if we’re seeing declines, why are we calling it consolidation? Simply because we need to look at these figures in the broader context over time. In essence one mustn’t get overexcited or downhearted when looking at a one-quarter picture.
One clear trend the market will be looking for over the next 12 months is sustained growth in digital listening share. It passed 50% for the first time in the last quarter and it’s just over that mark again in these results.
Looking elsewhere, the situation in London couldn’t be closer. Bauer’s Kiss has pipped Capital to the number one slot by just 24,000 listeners. Kiss now reaches 2,087m adults and Capital 2,063m – a 10.8% decline in reach for the Global station.
Over at News UK’s Wireless Group the programming team for talkSPORT will be scratching their heads. It’s glass half full or half empty, depending on whether you compare YOY or QOQ. The station’s reach today stands at 2,895m, a healthy increase of 10.5% YOY, but a dip of 7.2% from 3,111m in Q1.
The reporting period for Q2 is 2nd April to 24th June so includes the fallow period between the end of the football season and the beginning of the World Cup. So they’ll be looking to bounce back over the coming months and trialling more ways to alleviate the swings in audience.
Bauer’s new national station The Hits has performed well and now reaches 804,000 listeners; their digital-only station KISSTORY has had a spectacular set of results with reach up 16.7% and a weekly audience of 2,024m adults. This makes it the largest single commercial digital-only radio station.
Global have cause for celebration too. They will be toasting the success of their digital station Heart 80s, which has seen an increase in reach of 37.4%, taking its reach to 1,171m.
Other stations to note are Jazz FM which has had a stellar performance, increasing reach by 20.9% to 672,000, and Union Jack – a national digital-only station which is run by some of the ex-Absolute Radio management team – increased its reach to 116,000, up 45%.
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RAJAR Q2 2018
AA/WARC Expenditure Report July 2018
All comparisons are year on year unless stated and weekly reach numbers are adults 15+