Commercial radio gains 1m listeners year-on-year

Couple in kitchen Listening to the Radio

Commercial radio has an additional 1 million weekly listeners according to new figures released by RAJAR for Q4 2023. The data shows that 39.1 million people listen every week, which is up from 38.1 million in the same quarter last year and sets a new Q4 record.

These new figures reveal a sustained increase in commercial radio listening, as there are now 3.5 million more listeners tuning in to commercial stations compared to 5 years ago, an increase of 10%. The length of time people listen for has also increased as total hours have grown by 19%.

According to RAJAR, commercial radio has 7.8 million more listeners than the BBC, as the gap grows from 4.8 million in Q4 2022. Its share of listening hours is also at its highest ever level, with a combined share of 54.8% which is up from 50.2% in Q4 2022. In comparison, the BBC has seen its share drop to 43.2%, down from 47.1% in same period last year.

Listening to online platforms has reached record share levels, with total listening time online at 25.65%, up from 24.1% in Q4 2022. Smart speakers listening accounts for over half of all online radio listening and has reached 14.7% which is a record, up from 13.6% in Q4 2022.

Commercial radio listening on smart speakers continues to grow to a record level – now at 17.7%, up from 17.1% in Q4 2022.

Total combined digital listening is now 72% of all radio listening.?This is predominantly DAB which is 42.7% and online which is 25.6%. Analogue platforms now account for 28% of all listening time which is down from 33.4% in Q4 2022.

The combined weekly audience for all BBC and commercial radio in the UK also remains extremely strong at 49.5 million people, representing 88% of the adult population.

Radiocentre’s CEO Matt Payton said:

“These latest audience figures show that radio remains in good health.?Despite an increasingly fragmented media landscape, commercial radio is bigger than ever and continues to deliver a growing audience which couldn’t be better news for advertisers.?As the Media Bill continues to progress through Parliament the record numbers tuning in online and via smart speakers also reminds us just how important the radio elements of the legislation will be for stations and their devoted listeners.”

More information about the power and influence of commercial radio can be found on the Radio Centre website.


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