Radio Market Shares

News today that Bauer Media have acquired Orion Media (the people that own Free Radio/Gem etc). It made me have a look at the current market shares of operators in the UK.

  • BBC: 53.5%
  • Global Radio: 19.5%
  • Bauer+Orion: 15.0%
  • Wireless Group: 2.9%
  • Communicorp UK: 2.3%
  • UKRD: 0.7%
  • Lincs FM Group: 0.6%
  • Celador: 0.4%
  • Jazz: 0.2%
  • Nation Group: 0.2%
  • Anglian: 0.2%
  • Q: 0.2%
  • Tindle Radio Group: 0.1%
  • Adventure: 0.1%
  • kmfm Group: 0.1%
  • Quidem: 0.1%
  • CN Radio: 0.1%
  • Cheshire Radio: 0.0%

A couple of things. Firstly the BBC is still a stonkingly strong part of the UK radio market. It continues to dwarf the rest of the sector.

Secondly, we’re pretty much getting to the end of ten years of radio consolidation.  BBC, Global and Bauer account for nearly 88% of all UK radio listening – their dominance is almost, to pardon a pun, absolute.

Bauer have been acquiring UK radio hours over the past couple of years through the purchase of Absolute, Planet Rock and now Orion in an attempt to reach a similar scale to Global. That, alongside their digital successes have increased their share from 10% to 15% in the past ten years. There options now though are somewhat limited.

When you look at further major consolidation possibilities you’re only really left with Communicorp and Wireless. Communicorp is tough for Global or Bauer, to own outright because of market dominance issues (though Global own the national hours for sales), so Wireless is really the last potential operator that would give either Global or Bauer that final boost.

Whether it’s up for sale is, of course, another matter.