Evans loses 1 million listeners

Rajars: Chris Evans’ record-breaking early momentum has been checked after Radio 2’s breakfast show lost over a million listeners in the second quarter, according to the latest Rajar data.

The show registered 8.5 million listeners in the three months to June 30, down from 9.5 million in the first quarter.

Evans had gained over a million listeners in the first three months after taking over from Sir Terry Wogan in January.

Despite the month on month loss, Evans has 227,000 more listeners than Sir Terry in the same period last year.

The slump at breakfast drove Radio 2’s weekly reach down 5.8% quarter on quarter to 13.7 million.

The BBC’s listenership across all its stations also suffered, down 0.8% to 34.6 million. The Corporation’s share of the radio market also dipped to 54.6%.  

In contrast, the commercial radio sector’s share rose to 43.2%, up from 41.3% at the start of the year.

Listener numbers increased to 32.8 million, the commercial sector’s highest in a decade and up from 32.16 million last quarter.

Crucially, the commercial stations also saw their share of the advertiser-friendly 15-44 year-old market increase to 53.6% from 51.2% in the previous three month period and up 0.7% on the same period last year.

The radio industry at large will be buoyed as listening soared across the board. Weekly reach was up to 46.7 million from 46.4 million in the previous quarter as the World Cup and general election boosted talk radio.   

The average time each listener tunes in for and the total number of hours listened to also benefited, up to 22 and 1 million hours respectively.   

Elsewhere, the BBC’s digital-only station 6 Music saw its audience continue to increase, up to 1.2 million, a 16.7% gain on the previous quarter and up a massive 100.7% year on year.

The station was saved from closure by the BBC Trust in July after a social media campaign was launched to reverse the proposal put forward in March by BBC director general Mark Thompson that would have seen the station axed.  

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here