Radio audiences on the up

The spirit of the radio has been reanimated over the past quarter, with listening figures reaching the highest levels in a decade, according to encouraging figures published by audience measuring body RAJAR.

BBC 6 Music received the biggest shot in the arm, with audience figures doubling since last year to a record 1.194 million in the past three months – a 100.7 per cent year-on-year growth. The threat of closure, and subsequent successful protests that saw the BBC backtrack on those plans, seems to have been the catalyst to drive new listeners to the digital station.

BBC Radio 4 and 5 Live benefited from both an election and World Cup year respectively, with the former hitting a record average audience of 10.4 million, and the latter achieving its biggest audience since 1990.

The figures represent the highest listening numbers since RAJAR introduced its new measuring system in 1999. Average weekly audience figures were up nearly 500,000 compared to the same period last year, with 46.8 million listeners tuning in to radio every week during the period.

However, there were some losers. Despite the World Cup, BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Xtra was down 19.1 per cent year-on-year, and 1Extra’s audience fell to a weekly average of 600,000 listeners, a 5.4 per cent yearly drop.

Commercial radio operators will be encouraged, as the BBC’s overall share of the audience took a dip from 56.5 per cent to 54.6 per cent, with commercial radio’s share increasing from 41.3 per cent to 43.2 per cent.

(Source: MediaGuardian)

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