Rajar study highlights value of ads in boosting listeners

The value of marketing and promotions in boosting listeners has been underlined by the latest Rajar radio audience research.

Heart 106.2, Virgin FM and LBC have shown strong growth in London, following heavy promotional campaigns by all three.

LBC, which changed its name from London News Radio in July backed by heavyweight ads, has increased weekly reach by 41 per cent to 632,000 listeners. LBC’s relaunch was supported by a drive on Carlton TV and in the Evening Standard.

Adult rock station Heart 106.2 increased its weekly reach of listeners by 35 per cent to 978,000, compared with the second quarter of 1996. The station’s listening hours also increased by 37 per cent.

Heart has used transport advertising in the capital since its launch.

Underlining the difference promotions make are the varying results for Virgin Radio’s London FM service compared with its national AM service.

The FM service in London upped listeners by 6.1 per cent, while the AM service lost 398,000 listeners or 12 per cent reach. Virgin has now decided to roll out aggressive marketing to other parts of the country to support the AM service. However, radio industry observers believe that AM listening in general is in decline.

Capital Radio had a good quarter, despite being the target of Virgin’s marketing campaign. Its FM listeners increased by 100,000 to 2.9 million. However, the number of hours its listeners tune in to falling by almost ten per cent.

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