Rajar: The Lowdown
The biggest surprise from the latest figures is that the BBC’s lead over commercial radio is its narrowest for the 12 months, but corporation remains dominant in the ratings battle thanks DJ stars like veteran broadcaster Terry Wogan.
Chris Moyles’ Radio One breakfast show lost 190,000 listeners, its second consecutive loss of the year. Terry Wogan on Radio Two lost just 5,000 listeners.
BBC Radio had a 54.9% share of the market in the third quarter of this year down from 55.5% in the last quarter. Commercial radio increased its share over the same period from 42.4% to 43.1% according to the figures released today.
The effects of Channel 4’s decision to pull out of the 4radio project are yet to be seen, but it is certainly very encouraging that the dominance of the BBC is falling and commercial radio returning to the dominant presence it held 15 years ago. This increased competition can only be a good thing for listeners as stations will be fighting more and more to up their audience figures and entice new listeners to their flagship and specialist programming.
The strength of digital radio is crucial for the radio revolution taking place at the moment. 18.7% of radio listening now takes place via a digital platform up from 15% during the same time last year. It certainly seems that the great leap forward in digital radio is on the horizon.
Although Radio 1’s share of the market has fallen by nearly a 10th to 9.8%, the biggest loss across the corporation, the station has increased its listener-ship from 10.58 million to 10.87 million.
The worrying concern is that the length of timed listened is falling. Despite the vast amount of good radio produced across the BBC and a number of commercial stations, these figures highlight a clear need for competition, diversity and innovation to engage listeners for longer and to provide a competitive choice to drive the radio revolution through the digital switchover in a strong and dominant position.