It’s the end of the second quarter already (already!), which means that RAJAR have released the latest listening figures. The data is mostly free to view (jump in if you like spreadsheets as much as us), but as always we’ve picked out the headline data here.
89.9% of the adult population (48.2 million over 15 year olds) tuned into their favourite radio stations each week during the second quarter. That represents a slight rise of 385,000 on the first quarter. The figure has been on, or a point away from, 90% for the best part of a decade now. No other format is able to so reliably deliver an audience as radio. The hours spent listening also attests to that dependability; on average a listener is tuned into live radio for an impressive 21.7 hours a week.
How they deliver that audience is shifting however. Supporting Ofcom’s recent study that showed the UK is now primarily accessing the internet via their smart phones, the release figures show that there has been a 13% increase (year on year) of adults using their mobile phone or tablet to access radio at least once a month. 25% of the entire adult population of the UK now claims to listen to radio this way, with the figure rising to 36% for 15-24 year olds. The expansion of 4G networks and better phones will likely only see this trend continue to accelerate.
Digital listening as a whole continues to grow. As 29.5 million UK adults now tune in digitally (DAB, DTV, Online), these platforms now have a weekly reach exceeding half of the UK adult population. The share of all listening hours via one of these platforms has risen to 39.9% from 36.8% year on year, with over half of the population of the UK tuning into digital radio at least once a week.
London is further ahead of the rest of the country when it comes to digital, with a 47.3% share compared to analogue’s 45.9%.
It’s also worth noting the particularly strong growth of commercial digital radio. For the first time commercial won a higher audience share than the BBC, with stations Absolute 80s (up 10.7% over the quarter.) and Kisstory (which grew by 16% quarter) leading the way.
Overall, commercial Commercial radio stations pulled in 34.6 million weekly listeners on average in the second quarter of 2015, a 2.1% quarterly increase.
Quarter on quarter and year on year, despite the ever increasing pace of tech change and range of demands on their time, the audience keeps on tuning in to their favourite stations. The way they listen might change, but the audience clearly continues to trust the format as much as ever. No wonder that radio has some of the lowest ad avoidance figures of any format.
Want to know more? Or find out more about how radio advertising might work for your organisation? This is where you need to be.
Sources: RAJAR/Ipsos MORI/RSMB