Rajar Q2 2022: national radio audiences slide as Covid restrictions ease

Rajar Q2 2022: national radio audiences slide as Covid restrictions ease

Global continues to lead the commercial pack despite the UK’s biggest radio brands seeing quarterly declines in listening across the board.

The broadcaster behind Capital and Heart recorded 23.9 million weekly listeners, the latest Rajar figures have revealed, a quarterly decline of 2%.

However, Global’s share of listening was virtually flat (up 0.1%), as nearly all major radio brands saw declines this quarter as more people returned to offices in the Spring months and travel began to increase as lockdown restrictions were lifted across Europe.

The Bauer Media Audio stable of brands, the second-biggest commercial operator, was 19.6m, down by 1% compared to last quarter. Bauer did manage to record one of this quarter’s few audience gains, with its biggest brand Hits Radio seeing a 3% quarterly increase to 9.5 million.

Global’s Heart, the UK’s biggest radio brand, was down 5% quarter-on-quarter in the three months to end of June to 9.7 million weekly listeners.

Heart’s stablemate Capital brand recorded a fourth consecutive decline in audience, down 3% compared to Q1 and down 5% compared to September — the first Rajar figures to be published after the measurement company put new methodology in place to account for the impact of Covid-19.

Global’s talkradio brand LBC reaches a combined audience of 3.3m (down 5.7% compared to last quarter), while rival News UK-owned Wireless saw a 9.2% quarterly decline to 3.9 million in its Speech network, which comprises talkRADIO, talkSPORT and talkSPORT2).

BBC Radio 2, the non-commercial leader and most-listened to radio brand overall, was down marginally by 0.3% to 14.5 million weekly listeners, while Radio 4 suffered a larger 3% fall to 10.7 million.

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