RAJARs reveal mixed listenership results for Scots AM stations

THE sister, AM stations of Tay FM and Forth One have each seen their year-on-year listening figures fall by over ten per cent.

Says auditing body, RAJAR, the stations – which mostly broadcast the same, networked content – experienced a drop in reach of 16.5 per cent (Tay AM) and 19.8 per cent (Forth 2) between the final quarter of 2010 and the final quarter of last year.

However, the same fate did not befall Clyde 2 (a 2.1 per cent increase over the 12 months) or Northsound 2 (no change), which – as part of the Bauer group which owns, among others, Tay, Forth, Clyde and Northsound in Scotland – also broadcast broadly the same content.

‘Reach’ is defined as the number of adults tuning into a station for a minimum five minutes per week.

The RAJARs for the final three months of last year also saw BBC Radio Scotland increase its year-on-year reach, by three per cent, which – translated – means an average 931,000 adults tuning in per week between October and December 2010, and an average 959,000 12 months later.

That said, BBC Radio Scotland commanded less total listening time among its potential audience – described as ‘share’: from 8.4 per cent during Q4 2010 to 7.8 per cent during Q4 2011.

In a BBC statement, BBC Radio Scotland head, Jeff Zycinski, is quoted, as saying: “This is a steady set of figures for BBC Radio Scotland and good to see we have an extra 28,000 listeners compared with last year. We are continuing to evolve our schedule with an expansion of news and other speech programmes in the daytime while our evening programmes continue our commitment to support music making in Scotland and live music in particular.”

Among the generally positive results, Dundee-based Wave 102 saw its year-on-year reach fall by 15.6 per cent and its quarter-on-quarter one (ie Q3 2011 – Q4 2011) fall by 3.6 per cent.

For 96.3 Real XS – which was previously known as 96.3 Rock Radio – the corresponding figures were also both down: 16.4 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.

Forth 2’s Q-on-Q figure was down 11 per cent, while Tay AM’s was down a mere 1.5 per cent.

But there were also big risers, year-on-year: Forth One (25.4 per cent), Kingdom FM (16.9 per cent), Original 106 (21.4 per cent), Tay FM (13.6 per cent), Smooth Radio Glasgow (13.1 per cent) and Capital Scotland (11.6 per cent).

Clyde 1’s year-on-year percentage was down 0.2, while its Q-on-Q was down 4.5 per cent.

Reacting specifically to the Clyde figures, Graham Bryce, managing director of owners, Bauer Radio Scotland, is quoted in a statement, as saying: “We’re delighted to be entertaining more listeners than any other commercial station serving the audiences of Glasgow and the West of Scotland.

“Our vision for the future of Clyde 1 and Clyde 2 is set out clearly and our focus remains on the delivery of quality hit music, entertainment, news and sport programming, with the best presenters and personalities, locally tailored for our audience in Glasgow and the West.

“Our listeners are at the heart of everything that we do and with their help we can shape and craft our programmes to their needs.

“We will continue to bring them the most creative and compelling, relevant content possible and deliver through a combination of sensational on air content that is further amplified through our digital and social media platforms. This ensures we give our audiences what they want, when they want it and how they want it.

“Our engagement with our listeners is demonstrated no more clearly than by the £1.7million raised and distributed to underprivileged children in the local community by Clyde 1 and Clyde 2’s cash for kids in 2011. This is a 30 per cent increase on last year.”

Of Bauer’s stations across Scotand – which also include Moray Firth and Borders – Bryce is further quoted, as saying: “After strong growth over the past year, this was a consolidating quarter for the Bauer Radio Scotland portfolio, with all stations retaining their market leading position.

“Our strategy of ensuring the most potent mix of compelling and engaging content, more hit music, showbiz and entertainment, that is locally focused and driven by the best personalities is proving once more, to connect with audiences better than our competitors as we continue to extend our lead in every marketplace across Scotland.

“We put our listeners at the centre of everything we do. By tailoring content for our individual marketplaces we ensure a deeper, more relevant connection with our local audiences.

“We will continue to invest in our brands, drive innovation in our multi-media environment and provide an unrivalled proposition for our commercial partners and advertisers.”

Real Radio Scotland – owned by GMG Radio, which also operates Smooth – registered a year-on-year figure of 4.8 per cent up, and a quarter-on-quarter one also up, by 4.2 per cent.

And Central FM saw a two per cent drop in its year-on-year figure and a 7.5 per cent drop in its quarter-on-quarter one.

Read here … Analysis from John Collins.