Commercial radio on the up

The apparent recovery of Radio 1 overshadowed the steady growth enjoyed by many commercial radio stations, according to the latest Rajar radio audience data.

Commercial radio accounted for 50.1 per cent of all radio listening for the first time in its history, adding 25.9 million listen- ing hours per week compared with the second quarter of 1994.

Rajar figures show that total commercial radio listening hours rose to more than 26 million per week while BBC radio listening hours slipped to 17 million.

National commercial stations fared well. Atlantic 252 achieved a 3.8 per cent share of all listening. Talk Radio UK appeared to have overcome some of its launch problems and achieved a 1.4 per cent share of all listening with 2 million listeners tuning in each week.

Virgin also enjoyed steady growth, in part thanks to the launch of the London service on FM, which significantly boosted audiences in the capital.

Radio 1’s audience decline has slowed and new listeners appear to have come more from other BBC services than commercial stations, claims Radio Advertising Bureau head of strategic planning Justin Sampson.

See media analysis, page 12

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