Rajar Q1 2013: Views from Mindshare, RadioWorks and UM London

Radio specialists from Mindshare, RadioWorks and UM London were encouraged by the growth of digital listening and intrigued by the changes in the London market in yesterday's Rajar figures.

In yesterday’s Rajar figures, 95.8 Capital FM's progamme with Lisa Snowdon and Dave Berry retained its position as the biggest commercial show in London at breakfast, while digital radio reached its highest ever share of listening.

Three media agency executives give their views on yesterday's results

Tracy Roberts, business director at Mindshare

"This Rajar hasn’t been the kindest, with the London market taking a big hit with the majority stations seeing decreases in reach and hours year on year. Capital however, will be pleased to be back in the number one spot again for both London overall and breakfast. Nationally Absolute Radio had great results, seeing their audience grow to 3.3 million listeners (+9.2% year on year).

"From a digital point of view, it’s good to see that digital radio as a whole has had a strong Rajar with 34% of radio listening now via a digital platform (+17% year on year). With stations continued investment in digital assets, they will be pleased to see listening via online/apps now taking 5% share of digital listening, the same share as TV. With the growth of listening via apps, this will offer further opportunities for advertisers to communicate with radio listeners in an interactive way."

Tom Thacker, senior buyer, UM London

"In contrast to this week’s Sony Radio Awards, where the BBC dominated, a key observation for Q1 2013 is the overall success of commercial radio across the board. A positive sign that investment by the radio groups in their strong brands is reaping dividends.

"Commercial listening can now point to an increase in weekly reach both year on year and quarter on quarter - now standing at 33.5 million and chipping away ever so slightly at the BBC in the process.

"Within this we can point to the success of leading national station Classic FM which is back over the 5.5 million mark, alongside strong performances from several of the digital-only brands. Absolute 80s, 90s, and 00s were all on the rise, along with the newest addition to the Bauer portfolio, Planet Rock."

Simon Pearce, insight director, RadioWorks

"This quarter’s radio listening figures have thrown up mixed results for many of the commercial radio groups in the UK with wins and losses being recorded at most of them. In London, Global Radio will be happy to see Capital and Heart become the first and second placed commercial breakfast shows. Although Capital moved above Bauer’s Magic 105.4 in terms of reach, recording the most listeners to a commercial station in London, the poorest ever set of hours for the station will no doubt cause concern for [director of broadcasting] Richard Park and co.

"As we see Absolute 80s named as the number one commercial digital-only radio station, digital listening has continued to grow in terms of share and reach, with 50% of us now listening digitally every week. Of particular interest to advertisers will be the growth in listening via online and apps, to 52 million hours every week. The increased opportunities that tools such as Radioplayer, Instream and station apps provide can continue to be used by advertisers, with stronger figures backing up their usefulness.

"Six months in to hosting the Radio 1 breakfast show and Nick Grimshaw has had a very poor set of results, loosing over a million listeners on Chris Moyles' performance in the corresponding quarter last year. Commercial radio breakfast shows and Radio 2 look to have become home to the 'lost listeners' with shows such as Jon Holmes on [Global Radio’s] Xfm and Christian O’Connell on Absolute performing well."

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