• 91% of the UK adult population (15+) tuned into the radio every week in 2013. That’s 48.3 million people, meaning radio acquired an additional 1.4 million listeners across the year.
  • 21.3 hours was the average time spent listening to radio per week. That’s a lot of time sat in traffic jams (cheers M4/M25). This totals 1.03 billion hours spent listening to radio by UK adults per week.
  • Listening via digital platforms continued to progress, with a reach growth of 10% YoY and listening hours increasing by 9%. DAB remained the most popular outlet with 24 million UK adults having access to a DAB receiver, accounting for 65% of all digital listening hours.
  • However, it’s the growth in mobile listening that really shot up in 2013. 25% of adults tuned into the radio via a mobile device, up 32% YoY, this figure being an impressive 45% in 15-24 year olds.


Even with a 2.2% drop off in listeners, Total Global Radio UK continued to lead the pack, with a network reach of 19.9 million, primarily accountable to the 5.6 million Classic FM listeners. BBC Radio 2 followed with 15.5 million weekly listeners. Bauer Radio enjoyed 8.8% growth from December 2012 , reaching over 14.4 million listeners. BBC Radio 1 didn’t fare quite so well with a 1.1% drop off in weekly listeners. However, Nick Grimshaw’s Breakfast Show is finally starting to gain momentum with a 12.7% increase in weekly listeners compared to the previous quarter.


Londoners stayed fixed on Capital London, with a 10.3% QoQ increase in weekly listeners. Capital South Wales, however, is still struggling to reach the success of the former Red Dragon days, with 1.3 million hours listened to in Q4 as opposed to 3.6 million hours in a comparable period as Red Dragon. It hasn’t been a strong year for Capital South Wales generally, having lost 7.83% of their reach since Q4 2012, including a drop of 13.18% in the most recent quarter alone. Real Radio South Wales also struggled with a 5.78% fall in weekly listeners across the year.


UK-wide, however, it’s good news for local radio stations as their audiences grow. Furthermore, commercial radio has increased its reach from 34.4 million listeners to 34.9 million. That being said, listeners are not tuning in for as long as the previous quarter. Only a third of stations noted an increase in weekly listening hours in this final quarter. Global Radio’s networks Total LBC (UK), Gold Network (UK) and Total Global Radio (UK) all suffered reduced weekly listening hours. Contrastingly, Bauer’s Kisstory, Kiss Fresh and The Hits contribute to the networks success, noting great improvements on weekly listening hours.


Taking all of the above into account, radio is an increasingly successful format and, provided careful consideration is given to listening trends, it should be very much in our thoughts in 2014.


We’ll be coming back to this to get an idea of what changes are permanent and which are temporary, and what impact it will have on us and our planning considerations. Stay tuned.


Source: RAJAR 4th quarter listening figures