RAJAR announces first radio tuning figures since data collection was suspended in 2020

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By Andy Malt | Posted on Thursday, October 28, 2021

RAJAR has released its first set of UK radio tuning figures since data collection was suspended in March of last year due to the COVID lockdown. After eighteen months, he also comes back with a new method of counting the radio stations that people listen to.

While listeners involved in RAJAR’s research will continue to keep logs of their radio listening, a new application called Media Cell is also in use. Running in the background on listeners’ smartphones, it uses audio content recognition to identify radio stations people are interacting with.

“As in many industries, we faced an unprecedented set of challenges during the pandemic,” said Jerry Hill, CEO of RAJAR. “The RAJAR team, with enormous support from our research partners Ipsos and RSMB, has developed a flexible design that strengthens the service both now and for its future evolution.”

BBC Hearings Director Nick North adds: “Coming out of such a difficult period, RAJAR has acted with speed and innovation without compromising the thoroughness and quality of its service, to produce a new industry currency. , the best in its category, incorporating electronic listening measurement. It is a huge leap forward, and it is thanks to the executive of RAJAR, to Ipsos and to RSMB, to have made it possible ”.

Speaking on behalf of the commercial radio industry, Radiocentre CEO Ian Moss comments: “The return of new RAJAR audience data after the COVID-induced hiatus is good news. The evolution of the methodology is good for the future of the industry, while helping to guard against future interruptions in data collection ”.

But now that RAJAR is back up and running, what interesting stats has it generated? Well, obviously we can’t do the usual year-over-year comparisons, but here are five interesting takeaways …

1. Listening to the radio for breakfast continues to decline, following a trend that began two years ago. Zoe Ball on BBC Radio 2, Greg James on BBC Radio 1, Roman Kemp on Capital FM, Chris Evans on Virgin Radio and BBC Radio 4’s Today program are all down from the last time the ratings were measured. Chris Evans – once host of the (still) UK’s biggest breakfast show on Radio 2 – hasn’t even passed one million listeners. The only person who turned the tide was Chris Moyles on Radio X, who increased his listeners to over a million.

2. 65.8% of all radio listening is now done digitally. The greatest proportion of listening is via DAB, at 43%, while the Internet and applications represent 18.1%, and good old AM / FM still represents 34.2%. BBC Radio 6 Music is back on top as the most popular digital-only station, with 2.7 million listeners, with its closest rival, Kisstory, now lagging behind with 2.2 million.

3. By publishing its first RAJAR figures, launched in June 2020, Times Radio attracts 637,000 weekly listeners. That puts him ahead of Talk Radio, which registered 450,000 listeners – a slight gain from its last listening statistics. Another new station, Boom Radio, which caters to baby boomers who think Radio 2 is too young these days, attracts 233,000 listeners per week.

4. Heart retains its position as London’s favorite commercial station, with 1.91 million listeners, followed by Capital with 1.78 million. After that, the top five is completed by Magic (1.59m), LBC (1.56m) and Kiss (1.06m).

5. Stations aimed at young audiences are not having a good time. BBC Radio 1 is doing particularly badly, going from 8.9 million to 8.2 million listeners. A spokesperson for the station said the numbers would actually be better if children between the ages of ten and fifteen were also included in the statistics (making it more like nine million listeners). Yet for the most part, any station with an audience aged 15 to 24 is not having the best time right now.



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