National radio audiences drop

Talk Radio is the only national radio station to have increased its audience share, according to the latest quarterly radio figures. Audience share for the BBC’s Radio 1 has fallen to 10.1 per cent from 12.5 per cent in the past 12 months.

These are the findings of the latest Rajar Survey. Rajar (Radio Joint Audience Research) is the tracking body funded by commercial radio stations and the BBC. Its figures for the third quarter of the year showed Talk Radio’s listening share has increased from 1.8 per cent of total audience during the past year, to two per cent.

This increase has come on the back of Talk Radio’s exclusive rights to broadcast Nationwide League football. The station now plans to bid for coverage of the World Cup and Premier League football.

Classic FM, Virgin Radio and Atlantic 252 all suffered falls in their share of the market. There was no change from the second-quarter figures for Capital’s London stations, Capital FM and Capital Gold – its audience share for the third quarter remained at 20.4 per cent.

Of the commercial stations, Classic FM still has the highest share of listening at three per cent, although its share has dropped from 3.3 per cent.

Despite this, commercial radio’s total share of the market increased over the past year from 48.8 to 50 per cent. In the same period, the BBC’s audience share fell from 48.9 to 47.5 per cent. The remaining few per cent is accounted for by overseas and pirate stations.

Justin Sampson, operations director of the Radio Advertising Bureau, comments: “The increase has come from local commercial radio. More local stations provide the right mix of programming to take advantage of the long-term decline of Radio 1.”

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