It’s that time of the year again: the radio listening figures for the 3rd quarter of 2015 are in. Although the majority of the data is free to view (fill your boots here), it’s only really for fans of spreadsheets. Here is our regular easy-to-digest-during-a-tea-break rundown.
 
Most obviously, in an industry where flux is the norm, radio remains one of the great reliables. 89% of the adult (15+) population of the UK listened to their selected radio stations each week in the third quarter. That’s 230,000 more than the same period last year, and is a figure that represents an extraordinarily stable audience (all the way back in 2010 the percentage was 90%).
 
Although the format itself continues to attract a highly regular audience, the way the audience gets their radio fix is changing. Digital formats and mobile phone and tablet radio listening are grabbing ever bigger chunks of the overall audience: total digital listening in an average week now stands at 433 million hours with the share of all radio listening via a digital platform now standing at 41.9% (up 4% YoY). There has been a 10% YoY increase in the number of people who own a DAB radio, with overall listening via a digital device up 12% YoY. Listening to radio via mobile and tablet is increasing even more dramatically (21% up YoY), with a younger audience predictably leading the way as 41% of 15 – 24 years old claim to listen to the radio via a mobile phone or tablet at least once a month.
 
That youthful audience is also leading the way with regards cross-format pollination. Radio has always been a highly useful bridging format and remains the case, not least with regards the relationship between social media and radio. One stat from the data release highlights this: 42% of 15-24 year old Social Media users claim to receive updates about their favourite Radio Station/Presenter.
 
The audience for radio is reliable and the average member of that audience can be relied upon to be a heavy user, as shown in the release that found that on average a listener tunes into an impressive 21 hours and 36 minutes of live radio per week.
 
That’s a positive overall impression, but let’s take a look at some of the specific national stations and networks.
 
Total Global Radio remains the best performing national network (with a weekly reach of 22 million listeners after a 4.3% quarterly increase), followed by the total Bauer network (up 1.1% QoQ).
 
The majority of stations were up on the previous quarter, with some of the more significant boosts in weekly listenership belonging to Global’s Capital XTRA, up 15.7% (QoQ) and XFM Network, up 17.6%, with Bauer’s Absolute Radio 90s, up 16.7%, also performing very well.
 
Bauer’s Kisstory saw a huge 34% increase over the year, although that also represented a 10.4% loss QoQ.
 
Over the year, the best performers were Absolute Radio 70s (up 70.7%), Capital XTRA (+36%) and Kisstory (+34.3%).
 
To discuss any of the above (and how your organisation can best take advantage), or for a chat about how things look specifically in your region, get in touch to chat to one of our radio experts!