BBC: 6 Music and Radio 4 Extra lead digital charge

From a press release to
Posted 4 February 2015, 7.00pm est

Tim Loudon

Radio 6 Music and Radio 4 Extra have both gained their biggest-ever audiences - with 6 Music becoming the first digital-only radio station to reach two million weekly listeners - according to data published by RAJAR.

Radio 6 Music continued its growth to and now reaches 2.08 million people each week (from 1.99 last quarter and 1.96m last year), ahead of the 6 Music Festival on Tyneside later this month.

Radio 4 Extra attracted a record audience of 1.72 million weekly listeners (1.63m last quarter and 1.65m last year) in a quarter that saw it broadcast a unique range of entertainment from the Radio 4 archive alongside new programmes such as NPR’s Serial.

Helen Boaden, Director of BBC Radio, said: “I’m delighted to see 6 Music and Radio 4 Extra continuing to thrive. The unique output of our digital-only stations has enhanced the appeal of radio in an era of ever-increasing digital competition.”

All BBC Radio’s weekly reach over the period (September 15 - December 14) was 34.80 million (34.85m last quarter and 36.22m last year) and a share of 52.8% (53.6% last quarter and 55.2% last year).

Radio 1 attracted 10.43 million listeners during the period (10.55m last quarter and 10.97m last year) with a share of 6.6% (6.9% last quarter and last year), continuing to reach around 40% of the country’s 15-24-year-olds. The Radio 1 Breakfast Show with Nick Grimshaw registered a weekly audience of 5.90 million, from 5.82m last quarter and 6.29m last year.

Radio 2’s weekly audience was 15.28 million, from 15.01m last quarter and last year’s record of 15.51 million, while the station’s share of listening was17.8% (17% last quarter and 17.6% last year). The Chris Evans Breakfast Show attracted 9.60 million listeners per week – compared to 9.30m last quarter and a record 9.82m last year.

Radio 3’s audience continued to fluctuate around the two million mark. This quarter’s reach was 2.03 million (from 1.91m last quarter and 1.99m last year) and its share was 1.1%, (the same as last quarter and last year).

Radio 4 posted a weekly reach of 10.76 million during the quarter (10.62m last quarter and 11.21m last year) and a share of 11.9% (11.9% last quarter and 12.5% last year). The Today programme has 6.77 million listeners each week, from 6.69m last year and 7.14m last quarter.

BBC Radio 5 live posted a reach of 5.61 million listeners (5.81m last quarter and 6.29m last year) and a share of 3.5% (3.8% last quarter and 4.2% last year). Sister station 5 live sports extra reached 657,000 listeners each week – from 1.22m last quarter and 889,000 last year.

Among digital-only stations, Radio 1Xtra posted a reach of 1.11 million weekly listeners across the period (from 1.06m last quarter and 1.09m last year) and the Asian Network drew 619,000 listeners, reporting on a six-monthly basis, compared to 629,000 last quarter.

BBC World Service’s weekly UK audience was 1.36 million (from 1.31m last quarter and 1.41m last year), while BBC Local / Regional radio reached 8.98 million listeners per week - from 8.95m last quarter and 9.32m last year.

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