The quarterly Rajar results provide a comprehensive update on the radio market, looking at both station performance and listening habits. The latest (Q4 2014) figures have been released and, as we anticipated, the results are interesting. The way in which audiences are consuming radio content is the key change in the market place but before detailing the latest findings on that, here’s some numbers…
Rajar have announced that 47.9 million adults (to put that in perspective, that’s 89.4% of the UK adult population) tuned into their favourite radio stations each week during the fourth quarter of 2014. This has increased by a whopping 237,000, soaring above Quarter 3’s 2014 figure. On average, people are spending 1.02 billion hours boogying/humming to their selected stations each week – that’s around of 21.3 hours per listener.
Alongside the overall increase in who’s listening, the reports details how people are listening.
Digital listening remains the constant change with more and more switching from traditional dialogue to modern digital methods. Roughly 26 million adults have access to a DAB receiver, which is up on 7% on last year’s figure. DAB accounts for 67% of the full 385 million digital listening hours, so it’s pretty much the way forward. In addition, people tuning in digitally via DTV is currently at 12% with online listening sitting comfortably at 16%.
Digital listening is set to increase further after Q4 as a significant growth in new car sales has seen the volume of digital radios increase, so we expect this to impact further over the next 2 quarters.
And a quick overview of the UK’s beloved radio stations…
Firstly, Heart has remained the radio champ, solidifying its reign with four consecutive quarters at the top. With more than 9 million weekly listeners, it’s the leading national commercial station. Capital UK falls closely behind with a respectable audience of 7.16 million, losing 2.5% of its weekly reach against the previous quarter. And despite losing a few listeners over the year, Classic FM is the third largest national station with 5.57 million. So all in all, it’s been a good year for our favourite stations.
The challenge ahead for radio is reaching a disparate listening network and ensuring content is available across a plethora of platforms rather than viewing them as a threat. Commercially, Global have addressed this head on with a new sales platform.. Can others follow?
If you want to take a look at the actual Rajar report, you can find it here.
It’s that time again for a Rajar round up, and we’ve arranged the stats into a nice, easily-digestible infographic.
All in all, while most stations are down in terms of their year-on-year figures, digital radio is on the rise, with listening via smartphone and social engagement continuing to grow. Heart is a real stand out this year, and despite only growing 0.1% on the previous quarter, the retention of 9.08 million listeners means it has sustained its 20% uplift in reach. It’s also now 4th in the top ten of national stations, and though Heart London lost listeners this quarter, the brand new regional stations have done very well. At the other end of the scale is Planet Rock, which has seen a 15.7% dip in reach year-on-year.
Read the full infographic for more Rajar stats!
With the latest Rajar showing radio and commercial radio is in rude health, we’re offering some thoughts on ‘why radio?’
Radio is your friend
Presenters actively cultivate a relationship with listeners, attempting to create a feeling that you are having a one-on-one conversation with the station. A lot of listening is done when people are on their own, and the radio acts as ‘company’ to the drive, chores or working hours. It’s no coincidence that stations love competitions and promotions that offer a local touch. With the growth of social media, radio stations are ever better at creating that bond and leveraging a local feel.
This is powerful for the advertiser as it enables them to join that friendship. Sponsorship and promotions work so well because the advertiser is seen as a friend of a friend! Whilst the regional stations do pursue this approach it is the more local stations that can really position themselves at the heart of the community, which in turn drives that friendship.
Mum versus Man
Due to the vast array of stations available, radio provides an opportunity to target niche sectors and deliver efficiently too audiences, whether you’re looking for Mums or Men (just in case you’re interested, Heart and TalkSport are the best stations, respectively).
For national brands, the variety of stations and audiences reached makes for efficient planning. Classic FM, Planet Rock, Kiss or TalkSport… Targeting is vast and varied, meaning radio is an efficient platform.
School run or late night call in
Whatever your target audience, their media consumption habits vary through the day and week, meaning each media platform is most pertinent at key times of the day. So whether you want to reach parents on the school run or the 55+ late night listener, radio offers a relevant touch-point through the day.
For advertisers, that means efficient delivery of audiences but also means promotions and sponsorships can be targeted and cost efficient; cars should be advertised in drive time, whilst food is best placed during the day.
That bloody jingle…!
Radio offers frequency like no other channel, and the strength of sonic branding (that’s a ‘jingle’ to most people) means a brand can really get under the skin of the listeners. There’s a reason the local carpet shop, PPI claims company or online comparison site jingles are all stuck in your head… They’re meant to be, and that frequency (love it or hate it) is what puts the brand front of mind.
For advertisers, the power of a jingle can change a business. I’ll bet you can name 2 or 3 radio ads… And you can probably sing them. Depending on your brand, the objective and measurements, frequency is key to the performance of a radio campaign.
You can’t close your ears
The RAB (Radio Advertising Bureau) produced a great report on ad avoidance, showing that other than cinema (obvious one really) radio has the lowest level of ad avoidance. In the home and work a station tends to selected and stuck with through the day, and with the average listener listening to the radio For 21 hours a week, that’s a lot of advertising consumption.
For brands, a creative, responsive and relevant advert is required. Stations and brands love to produce commercials for clients as they know what the customer loves and what sounds right on their station.
Radio is THE Multiplier
Millward Brown and RAB have produced several reports over time that show that radio is the best multiplier of any media platform. Specifically when referring to TV, radio acts as the best media multiplier. The ability to further leverage, the sonic branding (not just the jingle, but the voiceover or promotion, catchphrase or tome) of a TV commercial builds the reach and frequency of a television campaign.
For advertisers, cover and frequency is critical to a campaign’s success. Allocating a portion of a TV budget to radio on efficient stations, in efficient day parts, means response will multiply.