British radio listening hits a new high


According to the latest figures from U.K. industry research group Rajar, 91.6% of the population tuned in to radio every week during the period, a new all-time high, the organization said. Brits listened to a total of more than 1.058 billion hours of radio a week, another new peak, Rajar (Radio Joint Audience Research Ltd) said: “Radio listening reached its highest level ever recorded in the first quarter as 47.3 million adults or 91.6% of people of 15+ tuned in to their favorite radio stations each week. This up by three quarters of a million from a year ago and is the highest since audience measurement began in 1982.”

Like in the US, more listeners across the pond are accessing traditional radio via digital radio, digital television receivers or the internet, and there has been a 10% jump in people listening via their mobile phones, Rajar said.

The BBC said Rajar’s figures show that more than 35 million people listened every week to the state broadcaster’s channels, the biggest total since new research methods were introduced in 1999.

The total was boosted by record performances from Radio 1 and Radio 4, and digital-only networks Radio 6 Music, Radio 1Xtra and Radio 7 (now Radio 4 Extra).

BBC Radio 1 had a record 11.83 million listeners per week in the quarter, while Radio 4 had its biggest audience under current methodology, some 10.83 million people weekly, boosted by a record performance from the Today news program.

Classical musical station Radio 3 increased its listener base, with 2.26 million people hearing it each week, its highest listening figures for seven years, the BBC announced.

RBR-TVBR observation: More evidence that radio as a whole is effectively moving over to the digital space with consumers. These listening records translated quite well to the traditional, terrestrial radio outlets in the UK, the BBC stations. All listeners need is the new transistor radio—the smartphone—to keep taking radio with them. Apps like iHeartRadio are doing the same for radio here in the states.