#RAJAR - BBC Radio 1 releases digital engagement figures

By James Cridland for
Posted 28 October 2015, 8.01pm edt

BBC Radio 1's RAJAR listening figures are relatively static year-on-year (10.56m now, 10.55m a year ago). If you include 10 to 14 year-olds, that figure is 11.49m. Since we're repeatedly told that radio is all but dead to young people, that's a pleasing statistic.

However, they have also posted declines for the Nick Grimshaw breakfast show; which continues to lose audience (even before Radio X's launch, which isn't in these figures). Indeed, the Breakfast Show has fewer 15-24's listening than ever before.

So, the BBC is keen to have us consider BBC Radio 1's digital engagement as a method of judging how they've done. Here are the figures that the BBC have also released today as part of this plan:

Radio 1's Youtube Channel

  • Radio 1’s YouTube channel receives an average of 1 million views a day
  • In the UK (and also internationally), 85% of Radio 1’s YouTube audience is aged 13-34
  • 760 million total views
  • Over 2 billion minutes of content watched
  • 2.72 million subscribers

To compare - Global claims 10m unique users across its digital channels. Capital FM (73% of the off-air audience of R1) has 223 million total views, and 618,633 subscribers; talkSPORT (28% of R1's audience) has their YouTube presence over the place, with a fair amount of abandoned YouTube channels, but they boast 439,000 subscribers and 215m total views. Absolute Radio? 29,000 subscribers and 42m total views.

Radio 1 iPlayer Channel

  • Radio 1 iPlayer requests Q3 Jul-Sept: 5,475,500
  • Radio 1’s iPlayer channel receives over 1.25 million requests per month
  • Total requests since channel launch are 14.5 million

To put these figures into context: BBC Radio 1's iPlayer tv requests account for less than 1% of the total iPlayer tv requests. Total iPlayer tv requests are around 588m requests per quarter (multiplying July's 196m figure by three). That must be quite disappointing for the iPlayer team. (There are no other radio stations on the tv iPlayer).

Social media

  • Radio 1 & 1Xtra have a combined 3 million Facebook subscribers and 3 million Twitter subscribers.

In a press release, Global claim 6 million users on social media.

For Facebook, Capital + Capital Xtra is at 1.5m. talkSPORT alone is at 1.8m.

For Twitter, Capital + Capital Xtra are at 934,000. talkSPORT is at 830,000.

Overall, these are impressive digital engagement figures for Radio 1; but it's important that the entire industry agrees how to publish these types of figures for comparison. There was a failed attempt at sharing online data in this way around five years ago. Perhaps it's time to reheat that discussion; assuming, of course, other stations don't feel embarrassed at their figures.

More information

James Cridland — James runs, and is a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business. He also publishes a free daily newsletter about podcasting, Podnews, and a weekly radio trends newsletter.

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