BBC Radio Scotland recovers listeners, while Galaxy Scotland’s fortunes leap

BBC Radio Scotland has enjoyed an increase in the number of people tuning in to it, according to the latest radio listening figures.

Says auditing body, RAJAR, this morning, the station’s reach – as measured by the number of people aged over 15 who have listened to it for at least five minutes during an average week – has increased between the three months July-September and the following three, October-December, by 5.1 per cent. Translated: from 822,000 to 864,000.

However, a comparison between the final quarter of 2008 and the final quarter of last year saw a dip of 12.4 per cent, the reach during the final quarter of 2009 having been 986,000.

The Q3-Q4 increase is down to, among other things, an increase in listening figures for two of the station’s staples: news flagship, Good Morning Scotland, and its football coverage, Sportsound.

GMS is understood to be peaking at 0815 hours, while the 1245-1400 slot (Scotland Live, Cafes and Brian Taylor’s Big Debate) is also believed to be showing an year-on-year improvement.

Meanwhile, Stuart Barrie, programme controller at music station, Galaxy Scotland (previously known as XFM and, before that, Beat 106), was celebrating a huge leap in his station’s fortunes.

Between Q4 of 2008 and twelve months later, Galaxy’s reach was up 48.6 per cent, from 210,000 to 312,000. Even its Q3 2009 – Q4 2009 increase was an impressive 24.8 per cent.

He said: “The whole team is delighted with these fantastic new results, it’s amazing we’ve came so far in such a short space of time. These figures prove that more and more people love Galaxy and confirm the growing success of the brand in Scotland, as we deliver the number one station for 20-somethings.”

Less cheering were the double digit reach drops experienced by Forth2 and Real Radio Scotland, the former’s Q4 2008 – Q4 2009 drop being 17 per cent and its Q3 2009 – Q4 2009 one being 14.3 per cent. The respective drops for Real Radio Scotland were 7.6 per cent and 3.3 per cent.

While Clyde2’s reach over the 12 months between Q4 2008 and Q4 2009 fell by a whopping 23.9 per cent, it salvaged some cheer in a Q3 2009 – Q4 2009 increase of 1.7 per cent.

Both Forth2 and Clyde2 are owned by Bauer Media which, within the last year, has pooled some of its programming, so that one show plays simultaneously across its many Scottish stations. In truth, across all of its Scotland network, it hardly registered any change: for the group in Scotland, its Q4 2008 – Q4 2009 reach was zero, while its Q3 2009 – Q4 2009 figure was down just 0.3 per cent.

Among other risers were Aberdeen’s Original 106 (year-on-year reach up 17.1 per cent, its quarter-on-quarter one up 5.1), Central FM (7.3 per cent and, again, 7.3 per cent), Fife’s Kingdom FM (12.3 and 5.8), and Moray Firth (10.4 and 1.7). While Northsound Two’s year-on-year reach increased by 23.9 per cent, its quarter-on-quarter one fell by five per cent.

In terms of market dominance, Radio Borders again scored the highest, boasting a 32.4 per cent share of its available audience: up 2.5 per cent on the previous quarter and 1.3 per cent on 12 months previously.