So, RAJAR results are in and the headlines are good once again, with the UK listening to huge amounts of radio every day, commercial and BBC alike.
There’s no doubt this is a media sector with a positive outlook and rightly given the general performances across the different radio groups. Millions and millions of people listen to the radio in the UK, providing hugely powerful relevant outlets across national, regional, local and specialist for PRs. So, its success once again should be celebrated as radio is an essential channel in many great PR campaigns.
I’m going to hand over the rest of this blog to Steve Parkinson, MD, Bauer Radio London to give an inside-the-industry on why radio is a medium that is in a strong, exciting position in 2012.
STEVE PARKINSON, MD BAUER RADIO LONDON
I know journalists often hate the influx of “best ever” RAJAR press releases which descend after each new audience release, but it does feel like there can be some justified celebrations around many of the commercial radio board tables this week.
In terms of pure audience increases, it’s congratulations to the guys at Absolute who have increased their audience year on year by 26% from 2.2 million to 2.8 million. GMG and UTV have also seen 7% increases in audience to 5.6 million and 4.5 million respectively. Bauer’s seen an increase in both its Passion and Place portfolios to 13.3 million, and Global has seen a very slight decrease in audience year on year but is still out there with 19.4 million listeners.
In commercial radio we all no doubt have the ongoing discussions about how much advertising we can feature in any given hour, when the BBC carries none, other than its cross promotional might. I love the BBC as a consumer but we’ve got a fight on our hands when it comes to winning share off the ‘Giant with Deep Pockets’.
However, nonetheless it’s good to see that many of the commercial stations are giving it a damn good go.
In London, often seen as the shop window to the rest of the UK, it can only be beneficial for the radio industry to see Capital back at full strength with increases in reach and share, and a new breakfast duo leading the charge. With Magic beating Radio 2′s audience for the fourth time in three years, and Kiss celebrating record figures beating Radio 1′s audience again, these headlines can only add further reassurance to advertisers that radio is in a very healthy state, with some great platforms for clients to add to their media mix.
As an Aberdonian I have to remind some people that there is a world outside London. Whilst in England we take on the BBC in hand to hand combat, things are very different in Scotland, with Bauer stations surging ahead, each one taking number one position in their respective towns and cities, with breakfast shows also leading the markets, against commercial and BBC for audience reach. This often gets lost in the London led headlines and should be championed more.
Back in the big smoke and the battle at breakfast is going to be interesting this year. There’s Dave Berry at his new Capital table in pole position, Neil Fox is second and building his breakfast following to the detriment of Heart; and at a very close third Rickie, Melvin and Charlie are chipping away at Chris Moyles (with 25% more 15-34s preferring brekkie with Rickie and co than Chris). And let’s never forget how well Nick Ferrari does too at LBC with a healthy dose of commercial speech.
So plenty of choice on the menus this year – both for consumers and advertisers alike. Justifiably, a few reasons to be cheerful all round.