89% of the UK adult population tune into the radio each week – that’s an increase of 237,000 adults PoP. In the knowledge that radio advertising has some of the lowest advertising avoidance figures of any format, this is motivating news for brands looking to invest in the promotional tool.


Digital listening continued to grow in the final three months of 2014, now accounting for 37.9% of all listening, having increased by 6% YoY. 27.8 million people use a digitally enabled receiver (DAB, DTV, online) to listen to the radio every week, 385 million listening hours in total. 36% of 15-24 year olds tune in via a mobile phone or tablet at least once a month. In the home digital listening now exceeds that of analogue listening, further evidence that digitalisation of media formats is taking over!


Total Global Radio UK (including Real, Smooth, Heart , Classic and Capital stations) continued to dominate the field with an average of 21.2 million listeners, up 6.2% YoY – Heart, Capital, Classic and Smooth being the top performers for commercial networks within the UK.


The Global Heart Network (UK) saw a 23.8% increase in weekly listeners relative to Q4 2013, that’s 9.1 million people tuning in each week, an indication that the rebranding of all Real stations to Heart is clearly paying off for the network. Regionally, nine Heart stations saw audience growth, including Scotland, North East, North West, Yorkshire and West Midlands. The Jagger and Woody breakfast show held its spot as the top performing commercial drive time show in Wales. Heart South Wales broke records generally with 4.7 million hours listened across the period. Global’s Classic FM and LBC Network (UK) both enjoyed significant growth over the period, up 7.1% and 3.4% respectively.


Five of the Capital stations including London, North East, North West & Wales, Scotland and South Coast lost listeners at the end of 2014, whilst East Midland, Birmingham, Manchester and Yorkshire saw growth. Capital South Wales performed consistently across the period, recording no change in weekly reach.


Bauer Radio, the main competition to Global Radio UK, held on to its silver medal reaching nearly 17 million listeners per week. Bauer’s Absolute network was up 9.4% YoY, standing at just under 3.9 million listeners.


Whilst commercial radio stations are continuing to thrive, BBC stations stalled in Q4 2014. Radio 2 and Radio 4 saw marginal audience growth (up 1.8% and 1.3% respectively), however the majority of other BBC stations reported falling figures, with Radio 1 recording a listener loss of 1.1% over the year. Worse off was Radio 5 Live Sports Extra reporting a 46% decline in listeners QoQ.


With commercial radio stations continuing to pull in larger and larger audiences, it’s no surprise that brands are keen to hope on the radio advertising band wagon. Whilst we wouldn’t suggest the platform for all organisations, there’s certainly a place for radio advertising for a vast array of businesses. If you’d like to talk over adding radio advertising to your marketing mix – drop us a message. Always happy to answer questions!