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RAJARs show growth in BBC local radio


The RAJAR radio listening figures have been released this morning, with some good news for BBC local radio stations.

Collectively BBC local radio has seen its audiences grow 2%, to reach 7.8m listeners.

In total, during the third quarter, 49.7m adults, or 89% of the 15+ UK population tuned into a radio station. The total weekly hours listened to was 1.02bn.

Listening to digital radio has remained around the 74% mark, which has been the trend over the last 12 months. Mobile and tablet listening has also been fairly unchanged, at 30%.

63% of people listen to radio at home, 23% in a car/van/lorry, while 14% at work or “elsewhere.”

BBC and Talk Stations

BBC Local Radio was one of the few areas where there were increases in audience over the summer period.

Elsewhere, MediaCityUK-based Radio 5 Live had 4.87m listeners, a fall of 17.5% year on year.

Radio 5 Live Sports Extra however added 320k listeners, taking it to 1.75m.

The period has seen a battle in the talk radio market, with GB News radio reaching 415k – that’s a 50% increase from Q2. TalkRadio, which is part of the News Broadcasting group witnessed a 7% decrease compared to Q2, but still had 637k listeners.

Sister station talkSPORT had 2.9m listeners, up 10% compared to Q2.

Times Radio delivered a reach of 542k.

Scott Taunton is the former CEO of UTV and Wireless Group and is now News UK EVP, President of Broadcasting:

“TalkRadio remains the home of breaking news and straight-talking opinion, delivering year-on-year growth in reach and hours,” he said.

“Meanwhile, Times Radio, with only its fifth RAJAR report, continues to attract the highest proportion of ABC1 listeners of any speech network, tuning in to authoritative news and analysis from The Times brand.”


Global, which owns brands including, Heart, Capital and Smooth, saw its share climb to 24.4%, or 25.4m listeners through traditional and digital radio.

Its Heart brand reached 10m listeners, while Capital had 7.4m.

Smooth Radio is the UK’s third largest commercial radio station, with 5.6m weekly listeners.

“Global has once more delivered record growth, and today, record hours, driving forward the commercial radio market to an all time high with younger audiences trending towards commercial radio,” said Ashley Tabor-King OBE, Global’s Founder & Executive President.

“It is an incredible privilege to have millions of people tuning in to our brands every day. I’m enormously proud of the Global family who are so dedicated to doing their absolute best, delivering first class broadcasting, innovation and creativity in everything they do.”  

More reaction to follow.

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