Rajar Q3 2011: Capital takes London top slot as Magic loses sparkle

Capital Radio: presenter Johnny Vaughan
Capital Radio: presenter Johnny Vaughan

Global Radio's Capital has once again taken the top spot in London replacing an underperforming Magic 105.4, which lost 12.8% of its audience, according to the latest Rajar figures.

Over quarter three, Capital increased its weekly reach by 4.9% from 2,077,000 to 2,179,000 and increased 2.5% year on year. Its share was also up during the quarter, increasing from 4.8% to 5.6%.

This was in comparison to Magic, which held the top spot in London during quarter two but dipped to third place in quarter three.

It fell from a 2,286,000 weekly reach to land under the psychologically important two million figure at 1,993,000. The station was also down 7.3% on the year. During the quarter, Magic also dipped from a 6.1% share to 5.6%.

Heart took the second place trophy with a weekly reach of 2,027,000 up from 1,990,000 in quarter two, a 1.9% rise in reach. However, this could not stop an annual fall of 1.5% in comparison to quarter three last year. The Global Radio station jumped from 5.1 to 5.8% share over the quarter.

Tom Drummond, head of radio at Initiative, said: "The summer Rajars do tend to be a bit volatile, simply because people go away on their holidays, and other factors.

"Obviously Capital has had a big burst of television activity in September, which can only help, and they have been advertising quite consistently with their [pop star fronted] campaign. Also Heart was advertising during July and August, which will have had an effect, while Magic was not on television at all during quarter three."

In London, Absolute Radio suffered with a drop during the quarter of 7.3% and 15.4% compared to the same period the previous year, the weekly reach for the station dipped from 832,000 during the quarter to 771,000. The share for the station in London also fell from 2.9% to 2.2% during the quarter.

Global Radio also enjoyed considerable success with its urban music station Choice, which was up 14.2% during the quarter and 17.1% year on year. During the quarter the station extended its weekly reach from 492,000 to 562,000 up from 480,000 during the third quarter of 2010. The station also boosted its share of the London market increasing from a 1.1% share to a 1.4% share of audience.

Smooth Radio, the GMG Radio-owned station also put in an industry-beating performance, increasing by 25.9% over the quarter, up from a 486,000 weekly reach to 612,000 up from 544,000 during the third quarter of 2010.

The station also increased its share of the London market over the quarter from 1.2% to 1.7%, but landed at the same share as the third quarter of the previous year.

Global Radio station Classic FM remained stable during the quarter jumping slightly in reach by 0.8% from 1,397,000 to 1,408,000, which was up from a weekly reach of 1,345,000 for the third quarter of 2010. The station’s share in London dropped slightly during the quarter from 3.8% to 3.7%.

The largest fall in the London market during the quarter was chalked up by Global Radio’s XFM, which plummeted by 35.2% during the quarter from a weekly reach of 671,000 to 435,000. The previous year the weekly reach for the station was 540,000. During the quarter the station’s share dropped marginally from 1.3% to 1.2%.

In the London region, the only BBC station dedicated to the capital, BBC London 94.9 lost 14.4% of its weekly reach diving from 554,000 to 474,000, down from a 560,000 weekly reach during the same quarter of 2010. The station dropped from a 1.4% share in London to 1% during the quarter.

Also in the talk-based radio sector, UTV-owned TalkSport dropped during the quarter by 11.2% of its weekly reach from 807,000 to 717,000, this also represented a 15% fall on the same quarter during 2010, where the station had an 844,000 weekly reach.

TalkSport increased from a 2.1% share of the London market to a 2.2% share during the third quarter of the year.

Follow Mark Banham on Twitter @Banham72

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