Commercial radio loses listeners to BBC stations

Commercial radio’s share of the market dipped to 42.4% in the three months to 30 September, down from 42.7% in the second quarter and 43.1% in the same period last year, according to the latest Rajar figures.

Its figures also reveal the BBC’s share of listeners rose to 55%, up from 54.6% in the second quarter and 54.9% last year.

In terms of reach, commercial radio dropped 2.3% quarter on quarter to 31.2 million listeners, a slight gain of 0.1% on last year.

BBC stations also registered a drop in listeners, down 1.5% month on month to 33.6 million, but up 1.8% on last year.

Andrew Harrison, chief executive of RadioCentre, says he remains “optimistic” that commercial radio will see some progress in market share once “results from programming changes and marketing activity filter through”.

Commercial radio also lost some younger listeners to the BBC. Its share of 15- to 44-year-old listeners dropped to 52.1% from 52.9% in the second quarter and 53.5% last year. The BBC attracted 44.7% of the age group, up from 43.6% in quarter two and 44% last year.

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