BBC Radio Scotland Celebrating Highest Summer Listening Figures for Six Years

The number of people who tuned in to BBC Radio Scotland during the summer was its highest for the time of year for six years, according to the Corporation.

It follows the publication today of the latest radio listening figures by RAJAR, which show, among other things, that, during the months July to September, BBC Radio Scotland's 'reach' was up to an average 953,000 listeners, some 6.5 per cent up on the average 895,000 of 12 months previously.

'Reach' is defined as the number of adults who have tuned in for at least five minutes in a week.

Said BBC Radio Scotland head, Jeff Zycinski: “In the summer months we expect to see listening decline, but this year we've had a very solid set of figures and it is clear audiences are enjoying our new daytime line-up of speech programmes as well as special events such as our coverage of the Edinburgh festivals and the Scottish Open. We'll continue to offer a sparkling range of programmes throughout these autumn and winter months and that will include brand new comedy and drama alongside our quality coverage of news, sport and Scottish culture.”

But the July-September average for BBC Radio Scotland was down on the previous quarter-year, April-June, which stood at 1,035,000.

Also celebrating was Aberdeen-based commercial radio station, Original 106, which registered a year-on-year reach increase of 30.8 per cent.

The station – owned 50-50 by Wave 102 owner, Adam Findlay, and Central FM owner, John Quinn – also registered a quarter-on-quarter increase of 15.9 per cent.

Original 106 co-owner, Adam Findlay, told “To see over 30 per cent annual growth on your top line audience is frankly a stunning result. However, looking at the detailed background, we have also shown a 95 per cent increase in our ABC1 audience reach – in real terms. This now means that 76 per cent of Original 106’s overall audience is an ABC1 listener: arguably the most desirable advertiser demographic.” 

But Original 106's share of its available adult audience remains in and around a relatively modest four per cent: 3.9 per cent 12 months ago, 4.6 per cent this time around.

Almost without exception, this latest set of listening figures – both quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year – are up for Scotland's radio stations. The exceptions include the AM versions of Clyde and Tay, which – along with other AM stations operaterd in Scotland by owners, Bauer Media – comprise mostly shared content. Clyde 2 was down 2.4 per cent year-on-year and 22.4 per cent quarter-on-quarter. Tay AM was down 14.1 per cent year-on-year and 5.6 per cent quarter-on-quarter.

Dundee-based rival to Tay FM and Tay Am, Wave 102, was also down, both year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter (6.7 per cent for each), prompting Findlay to add: “Wave 102 has seen an increase in hours and a slight dip in reach; this means that listeners are enjoying the mix of good music and localness for longer. But we have a job to do on our own external marketing and communications. Overall, I am happy with Wave 102’s continued success.”

For Clyde 2's sister station, Clyde 1, its year-on-year was up by 7.6 per cent, to an average reach of 583,000, some 1.4 per cent on the average for April-June.

Says Graham Bryce, managing director, Bauer Radio Scotland: “We are absolutely delighted that Clyde 1 has extended its lead against its rivals this quarter and further cemented its clear number one position. Every single show during the day from 6am through to 1am the following morning has more listeners than anyone else. The length of time the audience tunes in has also increased massively proving we are giving them what they want, when they want it and how they want it.

“We inform, entertain and connect with more listeners than any other commercial broadcaster.

“In what is a very crowded and highly competitive marketplace, we continue to invest in talent, brand revitalisation work and a multimedia approach. Our unwavering commitment to tailoring the very best content for audiences in Glasgow and the West continues to pay off and our audience has grown as a result.

“The Clyde 1 daytime presenter line up is of world-class quality. They continue to bring the best showbiz, up to the minute local and national news, travel, sport, hit music and entertainment, connecting with our audiences personally every day of the week.”

Clyde 1 sister station, Edinburgh-based Forth One, saw its year-on-year figure increase by 15.2 per cent, but down two per cent, quarter-on-quarter. Another sister station, Tay FM, enjoyed a 18.8 per cent increase, year-on-year, and a 4.7 per cent increase, quarter-on-quarter.

Quinn's Central FM was up 10.4 per cent, year-on-year, but down 1.9 per cent, quarter-on-quarter.

Real Radio Scotland, meanwhile, registered drops on both counts: 5.9 per cent, year-on-year, and 3.1 per cent, quarter-on-quarter.