Bauer cheered by Scottish radio listening figures

THE owner of numerous commercial radio stations in Scotland was today claiming its best-ever listening figures for them.

Bauer Media – which owns the likes of Radio Clyde, Forth and Northsound – is today celebrating reaching 1.765 million listeners every week, some 41 per cent of the Scottish population; reach being defined by listener audit body, RAJAR, as the number of people aged 15 or over tuning in at least five minutes per week.

Among its highlights, Bauer’s listening hours in Scotland is more than BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 2 combined, while its Clyde 1 station extended its lead in Glasgow and the west of Scotland, with 144,000 more listeners than its nearest commercial competitor.

Elsewhere, BBC Radio Scotland has slightly upped its share of its available audience, according to the latest ratings, released this morning.

Says RAJAR, between the months of April and June, the station boasted a 7.7 per cent share of its potential audience, up 0.1 per cent on the previous three months and up 0.2 per cent on this time last year.

At the same time, BBC Radio Scotland’s reach had increased from 928,000 during the first quarter of this year to 938,000 during the second: a 1.1 per cent increase.

Between the second quarter of this year and the same time last year, the increase was a dramatic 13.8 per cent – from 824,000 to 938,000.

Among the big figures elsewhere, Radio Borders’ share was 31.2 per cent, but its reach was 20 per cent down between Q2 this year and Q2 last year.

Over the same period, Clyde 2’s reach was down 20.7 per cent, Forth One’s was up 19.9 per cent, 96.3 Rock Radio’s was up 17.9 per cent, Wave102 FM’s was down 18.8 per cent and Galaxy Scotland (East)’s was up 29.3 per cent (its sister station, in the west, was, meanwhile, down three per cent).

Central FM’s reach was down 13.3 per cent between Q1 this year and Q2, while Clyde 2’s was down 12.6 per cent. But Galaxay Scotland (East)’s was up 26.2 per cent. Radio Borders’ was down two per cent.

In a statement, Bauer also claimed the following:

* Bauer’s Forth One regains the number one spot in Edinburgh, Lothians and Fife, on all measures and extends its lead over its nearest commercial competitor – Real Radio – to 56,000 listeners;

* Bauer’s Northsound stations One and Two now reach over half the population of the north-east, boasting a combined 50 per cent reach, up five percentage points on the previous year

* Bauer’s Moray Firth Radio now has the highest reach of any single mainland UK radio station, increasing its reach year on year from 47 per cent to 50 per cent.

Said Graham Bryce, managing director of Bauer Radio-Scotland: “These are stunning performances by all our stations. Regaining the number one spot on all measures at Forth One from our nearest commercial competitor and retaining the top spot in our other markets now means we are a clear commercial market leader in each of the local communities we serve.”

Said Jeff Zycinski, head of BBC Radio Scotland: “The rise in audience figures for the station is encouraging news and a credit to our talented team of presenters, programme makers and editors. This increase shows that in an increasingly crowded and competitive market BBC Radio Scotland continues to provide a diverse and attractive range of programmes which reach audiences in every part of Scotland.”

It is believed that between the two key elements to BBC Radio Scotland – news and sport – the former enjoyed a ratings increase. On weekdays, the audience peaks during Good Morning Scotland, while, at the weekend, the biggest audience continues to be provided by Sportsound.

At Galaxy Scotland – which was, until November last year, known as Xfm Scotland – breakfast show hosts, Des Clarke and Vanessa Motion added 25,000 new listeners between the two quarters of this year, with 117,000 people now waking up to the pair every morning from 6am. Sacha Brooks, who presents the mid-morning show from 10am is also celebrating, with the 37,000 new listeners she has gained over the last three months.

Said Galaxy Scotland’s programme controller, Stuart Barrie: “We are delighted with our first full set of audience figures since we re-branded as Galaxy Scotland last November. We are passionately committed to the success of Galaxy as we further grow our listener base and deliver Scotland’s number one radio station for 20-somethings. We look forward to building on these RAJAR results and going from-strength-to-strength in the future.”

More generally, radio listening hit a record 46.3 million listeners – or 90.3 per cent of the UK (aged 15-plus) population – tuning in to their favourite radio station each week.

The figure is up both year-on-year (it was 45.1 million in Q2 last year) and quarter-on-quarter (it was 45.8 million in Q1 this year).

Meanwhile, the share of radio listening via a digital platform has increased by 19 per cent, year-on-year, and five per cent, quarter-on-quarter.