RAJAR Q3/2014

Where most radio programmers go wrong is that they forget they have different types of listeners who listen to their station in different ways.

If you want to increase your RAJAR figures, I’m sorry, but one size does not fit all.

If you don’t have any light listeners it probably means they don’t know about  you, so you’ll probably need some reach-building mechanics and some external marketing wouldn’t go a miss. You also probably need to be explaining what you do better and (light) listeners need to know when to sample. Fixed benchmarks, travel every 20 minutes, 30 minutes non-stop – whatever – anything you can do to give them reasons to stop by. Light listeners are unlikely to be attracted by changing elements in a programme – they’re not even there in the first place!

But these tactics won’t support growing hours for existing listeners. For that you’ll need to give opportunities to listen in other day-parts, have an hours-building promotion and perhaps change how often your currents come around.

For many stations they’ll need to do both those sets of things. At the same time. Your listeners are subsets of different groups and they need to be looked after in different ways.

The other mistake is the assumption that they’re ‘your’ listeners. They’re not. You share them with other people. You are in a war for their attention.

As stations’ figures fluctuate ever more, it’s easy to refer to RAJAR blips, I’d also argue whilst of course that happens, you’re also programming in the most competitive radio market ever. Your figures may be going down because what you’re doing on the air just isn’t as good as what else is on the dial.

But if you combine fluctuation, competition and detail about different groups of listeners you get Heart London.

Heart London

Top line for Heart London is pretty grim. Reach down to 1.4m (Q2 was 1.8m, Q3/13 1.7m). Hours down to 7.9m (Q2 was 11.5m and Q3/13 8.7m).

But when you dig in it’s harder to lay the blame entirely at Heart’s door. The chart below takes all of Heart London’s Reach and then looks at ALL of their hours – both their listening to Heart and to other stations.

It shows that listening to Heart accounts for a quarter of its listeners’ listening (down from 30% in the previous quarter). But the real thing is that Heart listeners have consumed a fifth less radio in total. Now, Heart’s borne the brunt of that (seeing a 31.1% drop) but their listening to Magic, Kiss and R1 is pretty down too.

What’s changed? Listening to Capital’s grown a bit and Radio 2 and LBC are pretty solid.

Q3 includes July, August and September – a key holiday period with loads of changes in behaviour – not going to work, no school run etc. Now this will affect many stations, but perhaps Heart’s market has become an audience  who’s radio habits really do shift around in Q3.

Q2 2014

Q3 2014

Change – ‘000s

Change – %

Heart Listeners’ All Radio

39,947

31,556.5

-8,391

-21.0%

Heart London

11,565.4

7,962.9

-3,603

-31.1%

Magic 105.4 (London)

3,596.2

2,965.6

-631

-17.5%

Capital London

2,543.8

2,764.6

221

8.7%

Kiss 100 FM

2,790.2

1,989.5

-801

-28.7%

BBC Radio 2

1,951.7

1,903.3

-48

-2.5%

BBC Radio 4

1,545.5

1,293.4

-252

-16.3%

LBC 97.3

1,040.3

1,045.3

5

0.5%

BBC Radio 1

1,481.1

886.2

-595

-40.2%

Smooth Radio London

910.8

781.7

-129

-14.2%

BBC Radio 5 live

1,084.1

711.1

-373

-34.4%

Classic FM

1,525.3

543.9

-981

-64.3%

talkSPORT

1,250

426.8

-823

-65.9%

BBC London 94.9

545.5

410.6

-135

-24.7%

BBC 6 Music

145.7

378.3

233

159.6%

Gold London

775

361.4

-414

-53.4%

Sunrise Radio

96.3

345.7

249

259.0%

Absolute Radio London

512.2

281

-231

-45.1%

Premier Christian Radio

58.4

276.3

218

373.1%

Heat

306.8

267.8

-39

-12.7%

1Xtra from the BBC

66.7

266.7

200

299.9%

Absolute 80s

314.3

242.5

-72

-22.8%

Planet Rock UK

14.8

226.2

211

1,428.4%

Jazz FM

100.9

225

124

123.0%

Capital XTRA (London)

292.2

188.1

-104

-35.6%

XFM London

255.8

146.2

-110

-42.8%

BBC World Service

83.6

139.8

56

67.2%

Kisstory

431.7

135.3

-296

-68.7%

LBC News 1152

205.2

116.1

-89

-43.4%

Kerrang!

174.9

107.3

-68

-38.7%

BBC Asian Network UK

63.2

89.5

26

41.6%

BBC Radio 4 Extra

74.9

87.5

13

16.8%

Kiss Fresh (Was Smash Hits)

90.5

83.1

-7

-8.2%

BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

114.1

75

-39

-34.3%

Absolute Radio Classic Rock

74.4

67.5

-7

-9.3%

The Hits

103.4

52.8

-51

-48.9%

BBC Radio 3

102.3

41.3

-61

-59.6%

Absolute Radio 90s

53.3

31.5

-22

-40.9%

Absolute Radio 70s

61.4

25.3

-36

-58.8%

Radio 1035 AM

18.1

21.7

4

19.9%

Absolute Radio 00s

90.4

15.2

-75

-83.2%

Radio 1458 AM

82.3

10.2

-72

-87.6%

Absolute Radio 60s

10.1

2.9

-7

-71.3%

Other Radio

1,344.5

1,877.1

533

39.6%

 

Share

Commercial audience share in London is always a hot button. Everyone’s very keen to fight over being Number 1. This quarter it’s: 1. Capital, 2. Magic, 3. Kiss, 4. Heart, 5. Absolute, 6. Smooth.

But when looking at the full list of stations below (below) you can also see the power of the national and specialist stations. Indeed, Sunrise and Premier Christian Radio are doing better than Capital Xtra and digital stations like Jazz FM and Kisstory have the same market share as XFM.

Share %
BBC Radio 4

15

BBC Radio 2

11.3

Capital London

5.3

LBC 97.3

5.1

Magic 105.4 (London)

5.1

BBC Radio 1

4.5

Kiss 100 FM

4.5

Classic FM

4.3

Heart London

3.9

BBC Radio 5 Live

3.7

BBC 6 Music

2.6

talkSPORT

2.6

Absolute Radio

2.1

Smooth Radio

2.1

BBC Radio 3

1.5

Sunrise Radio

1.4

Gold London

1.3

Absolute Radio London

1.1

BBC London 94.9

1.1

Premier Christian Radio

1

BBC Radio 4 Extra

0.9

BBC World Service

0.9

LBC News 1152

0.9

Capital XTRA (London)

0.8

Jazz FM

0.7

Kisstory

0.7

XFM London

0.7

Absolute 80s

0.5

BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

0.5

Planet Rock UK

0.5

1Xtra from the BBC

0.4

Heat

0.3

Kerrang!

0.3

Radio 1458 AM

0.3

Absolute Radio 60s

0.2

Absolute Radio 70s

0.2

Absolute Radio 90s

0.2

Absolute Radio Classic Rock

0.2

BBC Asian Network UK

0.2

Absolute Radio 00s

0.1

Kiss Fresh (Was Smash Hits)

0.1

Radio 1035 AM

0.1

The Hits

0.1

London is a market with lots of digital choice and a high degree of digital consumption – what’s happening here will eventually happen everywhere else.

If Jazz and Kisstory can get the same share as XFM, then what real value does its FM licence have?

Digital

There’s actually lots of good digital stories in this book.

  • Digital’s share of listening is at a record high of 38%
  • DAB now accounts for a quarter of all radio’s hours
  • Over half the country (51.2%) listen to some form of digital radio each week.
  • 6 Music’s had a reach increase to 1.99m
  • Absolute 80s is at a record reach of 1.4m

Absolute 80s also has record breakfast figures with 462k tuning into the 80s version of the OC. I think its first figures since ‘Project Banana’ allowed Christian’s Absolute Radio Breakfast show to be broadcast live, but with 80s music.

Heat

Heat Radio’s also had a very good book, it’s best ever. They’re  now larger than The Hits with 965k listeners. These figures have come from good growth over the past few quarters and it’s nice to see its average hours are up too.

I think there’s a number of reasons that Heat’s done so well. Firstly it’s a great brand – you can guess what you’re going to get before you tune in. Secondly – it sounds like the brand. It’s a rhythmic AC station with values that give it permission to play the odd guilty pleasure. It’s also got a great on-brand presenter in Ryan Seacrest (and his syndicated show).

Finally, it’s a fun, active station with speech and music content that reflects today. This afternoon James Barr had a Glee promotion, interviewed Nick Jonas and then played 30mins of S Club 7 songs. I bet not many AC/CHR analogue stations had an afternoon that was as engaging.

p.s. Sorry Adam for stealing your picture. So, why not read his RAJAR blog post!