RAJAR Q3 2012: Kiss, Classic and Jazz buck a tough national market

Bauer Media' Kiss network, Global Radio's Classic FM and Jazz FM were among the few national stations to increase their reach year on year in the third quarter of 2012 as the Olympic and Paralympic Games squeezed audiences.

Jazz FM: station increases reach year on year
Jazz FM: station increases reach year on year

According to the latest figures from audience research firm Rajar, Kiss, the dance and R&B station, attracted an average of 4.36 million listeners a week, up 5.1% year on year and flat when compared to the second quarter of 2012.

Classic FM maintained its position as the widest reach of any of the national commercial stations with an average of 5.45 million listeners every week during the third quarter, up 1.2% year on year but down 0.5% quarter on quarter.

Jazz FM reported an average weekly reach of 624,000 listeners during the third quarter, up 22.8% year on year and 8.9% quarter on quarter and the biggest audience since the brand relaunched as a digital-only station.

The audience figures for Q3 include listening between 25 June and 16 September and so span both the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games which appears to have hit radio listening figures as people switched to the TV.

Global Radio’s networks lost listeners during the period: the Heart network had an average weekly reach of 7.38 million, down 5.6% year on year, while its sister network Capital reported a weekly reach of 6.86 million, down 2.5% year on year.

The main Absolute Radio station had an average weekly reach of 1.54 million listeners, down 3.7% year on year, although when its digital stations are included Absolute Radio reached 2.94 million people, up 3.6% year on year.

TalkSport, the UTV Media national speech station, had an average weekly reach of 3.02 million listeners, 3.6% year on year but up 3.4% quarter on quarter.

Bauer Media’s Q and The Hits both have a higher than average proportion of listening by digital terrestrial television (DTT) and the Games appear to have had a greater effect on their reach than other stations.

The Q radio station had an average weekly reach of 162,000 in the third quarter, down 22.5% year on year, and The Hits had an average weekly reach of 893,000, down 10.3% year on year.

The Magic network, which is part of Bauer Media, had a weekly reach of 3.80 million viewers in the third quarter, down 0.9% year on year, suggesting the boost the London station experienced was not replicated in the rest of the network.

Despite having the radio broadcast rights to both Games even BBC Radio 5 live felt the Olympic effect and reported a year-on-year decline in weekly reach at 6.10 million listeners, down 2.2% year on year.

LBC 97.3, the London speech station, is available nationally on digital platforms and performed strongly with an average weekly reach of 1.19 million viewers during the quarter, up 6.6% year on year and 2.8% quarter on quarter.

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