We live in interesting times! Once again the dynamics of the London radio market continue to confound and fascinate observers – and once again prove my point about not taking a single quarter on its own. Over the course of a year it can be a good way of seeing longer-term trends.
Which brings us to Q1/2015; covering the period 5th January – 5th April.
With a few exceptions almost everybody in London is down this quarter; some heavily. The puzzling thing is that overall listening is down, which means a loss by one station does not necessarily mean a gain by another.
Heart had a bad time in Q3/2014, bounced back last time but has now dropped again – although not quite as much as it did six months ago. It has shed 274,000 listeners year-on-year. LBC has also dropped heavily, although its overall share of listening makes it the joint second (with Heart) commercial station, while Nick Ferrari has the highest commercial share of listening at breakfast.
(Click on images to enlarge)
Out of interest I had a look at the ‘Other Station’ figure for London. This covers any station that is not surveyed by RAJAR but for which respondents wrote in as listened to during the diary week is coded to other listening. This includes foreign stations, short term licences, online-only stations; etc. While there is a modest YOY increase of 23,000 listeners, hours are down by 26.4% and share also down from 3.3% to 2.8%.
So who did well this time around? The ‘Gold Star’ for Q1/2015 goes to Absolute, with its Golden Square stablemate Magic in runner-up. They were the only two commercial stations to gain audience this quarter, with Absolute, Kiss and Smooth the only ones showing a year-on-year increase.
Update: Thanks to Chris Huff for pointing out that Magic’s share of 4.9% is the smallest share for London’s top commercial station in RAJAR history.
Note: Figures used in all charts for Absolute are those for ‘Absolute Radio (London).