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Rajar Q3 2022: Global retains top spot as commercial radio audience share grows

Rajar Q3 2022: Global retains top spot as commercial radio audience share grows

Global retained the top spot in commercial radio brands in the first time Rajar has reported year-on-year changes since pre-pandemic.

The latest quarterly UK radio audience survey showed that commercial radio has extended its weekly reach lead over the BBC. Commercial radio’s total weekly reach was 38.2 million in Q3 2022, an increase of 1.4 million (4%) compared to the previous quarter.

For a second quarter in a row, commercial radio also garnered a higher share of listening than the BBC. It surpassed 50% for the first time to a combined share of 50.9%, while the BBC’s share fell to 46.7%, its lowest ever level.

Global, the broadcaster of radio brands Heart, Capital and LBC, recorded weekly reach of 24 million in the last quarter, an increase of 0.4% quarter-on-quarter but a drop of 0.9% year-on-year.

Global’s total share of listening was 22.3%, up 0.3 percentage points on the previous quarter and 0.9 points from the same time last year.

The Bauer Media Audio network, the second-biggest commercial radio brand and owner of Absolute, Hits Radio Network and KISS, had a weekly reach of 19.7 million listeners, a growth of 1.2% quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year.

Bauer had a slightly lower share of listening than Global’s network, with 18.2% share in Q3 2022, an increase of 0.5 percentage points on Q2 2022 and 0.8 percentage points on the same time last year.

BBC Radio 2 was the largest non-commercial player and top of the weekly reach table overall with 14.5 million weekly listeners in Q3 2022, a drop of 0.9% from the previous quarter.

Global’s Heart remained the largest commercial station with 10.1 million weekly listeners across the UK (Roman Kemp, host of Capital Breakfast, pictured, main image).

Matt Payton, CEO of Radiocentre, said: “The fact that record audiences are tuning in to commercial radio in record numbers is great news for advertisers. The data demonstrates radio’s enduring popularity with the great British public, whether they’re listening on a radio set, in the car or on a smart speaker.”

He added: “It is also a reflection of the hard work and investment of radio stations in providing greater choice and quality for listeners, offering a valuable mix of entertainment, music, news, information and companionship.”

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