RAJAR Q1 2012: Absolute Radio, Kiss and Smooth among the winners

Absolute Radio, Bauer Media's Kiss and GMG's Smooth all reported strong audience gains in the first quarter of 2012, while TalkSport's audience declined slightly despite a record lunchtime audience from Sony winners Richard Keys and Andy Gray.

Absolute Radio: network enjoyed weekly reach of 2.98m, up 15.2% year on year
Absolute Radio: network enjoyed weekly reach of 2.98m, up 15.2% year on year

According to the Rajar figures for Q1 2012, Absolute Radio's core station had an average weekly reach of 1.61 million listeners, up an impressive 15.6% year on year and 0.8% compared to the last three months of 2011.

The Absolute Radio network, including Absolute Classic Rock and Absolute 80s, had an average weekly reach of 2.98 million, the highest the company has reported in almost 10 years and up an impressive 15.2% year on year and 5.8% on the quarter.

Bauer Media's Kiss UK, which went national at the start of 2011, had another strong quarter with an average weekly reach of 4.36 million listeners, up a respectable 7.2% year on year and 4.5% quarter on quarter.

Smooth Radio, GMG Radio's national station, had an average weekly reach of 3.32 million in the first quarter of 2012, up 7.6% when compared to the same period in 2011 and 0.1% quarter on quarter.

Global Radio's Capital network, which launched in January 2011, grew to 7.05 million listeners in the first quarter of 2011, up 5.0% year but down slightly (0.4%) when compared to the final three months of 2011.

TalkSport, the UTV Media national station, had an average weekly reach of 3.23 million listeners in the first quarter of 2012, down 0.5% year on year but up 1.2% quarter on quarter.

Global Radio's Classic FM, the only national commercial station on FM, had an average weekly reach of 5.44 million listeners in the first quarter of 2012, down 10.5% year on year but up 1.5% quarter on quarter.

Among the housewife-targeted stations, Bauer Media's Magic network had an average weekly reach of 3.60 million, down both year on year and on the quarter (5.6% and 6.7%), while Global Radio's Heart fared better with 7.48 million, up 0.7% year on year and 0.3% on the quarter.

A number of the digital-only stations performed strongly. Jazz FM had an average weekly reach of 564,000 in the first three months of 2012, up 13.9% year on year and 10.2% when compared to the final three months of 2011.

Global Radio's digital station Chill had an average weekly reach of 229,000, up 33.1% year on year and quarter on quarter, while Bauer Media's Heat had a weekly reach of 716,000, up 14.4% year on year and 10.5% on the quarter.

Planet Rock, also a digital-only station, reported its highest ever weekly reach at 861,000 in the first three months of 2012, an increase of 8.0% year on year and 6.2% quarter on quarter.

See full table of Rajar results here.

Click here to go to our RAJAR 2012 page.

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