#RAJAR Q1/16 - Another record for 6music

From a press release to
Posted 18 May 2016, 8.00pm edt

Dan Taylor

As BBC Radio 3 approaches the 70th anniversary of its predecessor, The Third Programme, the station has reached its highest audience in three years, according to the latest RAJAR figures for Q1 2016.

The quarter marks the first full year of Controller Alan Davey in post and saw BBC Radio 3’s audience reach 2.12 million (from 2.05m last quarter and 2.08m last year). The station’s share was 1.3% (1.2% last quarter and 1.2% last year) and its flagship mid-morning show Essential Classics, which plays definitive recordings of the greatest classical music, had a record reach of 909k listeners.

In this quarter, BBC Radio 6 Music also achieved yet another record weekly audience with 2.24 million listeners tuning in, and both BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 1Xtra had strong listener figures.

Helen Boaden, Director of BBC Radio, said:

“BBC Radio 3 is in rude health and the station has had a fantastic year under its new controller with landmark seasons and carefully thought through changes to the schedule. The unique blend of remarkable music and culture programming is something you’d only find on Radio 3, and I’m delighted that so many listeners are connecting with the station and its output as it approaches its 70th anniversary.

“It’s also brilliant that BBC Radio 6 Music continues to reach record audiences, quarter after quarter, as audiences are discovering the station’s specialist music and expert DJs, and long may that continue.”

All BBC Radio’s weekly reach over the period (28th Dec 2015 – 3rd April 2016) was 32.01 million (32.13m last quarter and 31.67m last year) and a share of 46.6% (46.1% last quarter and 46.9% last year).

BBC Radio 1 posted a reach of 9.91 million listeners (from 10.33m last quarter and 9.67m last year) – which rises to 10.71m when listeners aged 10 to 14 are included – while the network’s share of listening was 5.6% (from 6.1% last quarter and 6.4% last year). The Radio 1 Breakfast Show With Nick Grimshaw now attracts 5.44 million listeners per week, compared to 5.87m last quarter and 5.5m last year. Including all listeners aged 10+, the show now has a weekly audience of 5.86m.

Ben Cooper (Controller Radio 1 & 1Xtra) said: “RAJARs are only part of a bigger story, as we’ve seen record numbers for our distinctive programming on YouTube and social media to complement the 40% of 15-24s that listen to Radio 1 every week. As young audiences increasingly spend time on mobiles, we have to evolve and so I'm delighted with the 3 million YouTube subscribers and a combined 8 million audience across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.”

  • Radio 1’s YouTube channel receives an average of 1.15 million views a day, and has 3.07 million subscribers.
  • Radio 1’s iPlayer channel receives over 1.4 million views per month, and total views since channel launch are 21 million.
  • Radio 1 & 1Xtra have a combined 8 million audience on social media across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

BBC Radio 2’s weekly audience was 15.51 million (from 15.47m last quarter and 15.01m last year) while the station’s share of listening was 18.6% (17.7% last quarter and 18.1% last year). The Chris Evans Breakfast Show attracted 9.73 million listeners per week, compared to 9.44m last quarter and 9.46m last year.

Bob Shennan, Controller BBC Radio 2, 6 Music and Asian Network, said: “These are incredible figures, and they prove that distinctiveness and popularity can go hand in hand. The Chris Evans Breakfast Show remains the rock upon which it is all built. He is a phenomenal broadcaster.”

Ed: In daytime, Ken Bruce and Jeremy Vine both have record audience figures, as does Dermot O'Leary over weekends.

BBC Radio 4 posted a weekly reach of 10.57 million during the quarter (10.93m last quarter and 10.89m last year) and a share of 12% (12.4% last quarter and 12.8% last year). The Today programme has 6.76 million listeners each week, from 7.03m last quarter and 7.06m last year.

BBC Radio 5 live posted a reach of 5.77 million listeners (5.59m last quarter and 5.76m last year) and a share of 3.9% (3.6% last quarter and 3.7% last year).

BBC Radio 6music: Bob Shennan, Controller BBC Radio 2, 6Music and Asian Network, said: “BBC Radio 6 Music continues to reach new audience highs. The schedule is littered with new records for Lauren Laverne, Radcliffe & Maconie, Liz Kershaw, Cerys Matthews, Jarvis Cocker and the Sunday Specials slot. 6 Music is bringing new audiences to digital radio whilst still remaining unique in the radio landscape.”

Ed: Of note: Radcliffe and Maconie's programme has now been more listened-to than Lauren Laverne for the last two quarters. It now has 956,000 listeners, against Laverne's 951,000.

Other stats:

  • Steve Lamacq retains the biggest show on the network with 1.01m (Q4 2015 – 1.08m / Q1 2015 – 933 000)
  • For the first time, all four shows in daytime (Shaun Keaveny, Lauren Laverne, Radcliffe and Maconie, and Steve Lamacq) have over 900 000 listeners

Amongst digital-only stations, BBC Radio 1Xtra had a reach of 1.04 million weekly listeners across the period (from 982k last quarter and 839k last year), BBC Radio 4 Extra attracted 1.85 million listeners per week (from 2.11m last quarter and 2.17m last year), BBC Radio 5 live sports extra posted 1.33 million listeners (from 1.24m last quarter and 1.34m last year).

The Asian Network drew 562k listeners, reporting on a six-monthly basis, compared to 563k last quarter and 562k last year.

The BBC World Service posted a weekly UK audience of 1.47 million (from 1.51m last quarter and 1.35m last year).

BBC Local Radio reached 8.79 million listeners per week, from 8.56m last quarter and 8.82m last year.

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