Galaxy Scotland Popularity Strong but Stabilising, say Radio Listening Figures

The popularity of music radio station, Galaxy Scotland, continues to level, following early year dramatic figures, according to the latest radio listening figures published today.

Says RAJAR, the station enjoyed an average 'reach' – measured as having been listened to by people aged over 15 for a minimum of five minutes per week – of 457,000 between July and September, compared to 429,000 during the previous three months. But to underline how dramatically its popularity has risen over recent months, between July and September last year its reach was 250,000. 

In other words, the Q2 2010-Q3 2010 average reach was up 6.5 per cent, but between Q3 2009 and Q3 2010, it was up 82.8 per cent. Galaxy is to be soon rebranded 'Capital'.

Meanwhile, the reach of BBC Scotland was 895,000 during the three months July-September, compared to 966,000 during the previous three months. Translated, a drop of 7.3 per cent. When it comes to the share of its available audience, over the same Q2 2010-Q3 2010 timeframe, there was a fall from 7.8 per cent to 7.5 per cent.

Responding to the figures, head of BBC Radio Scotland, Jeff Zycinski, said, in a statement: “Despite some turmoil in the market for other stations, the picture for BBC Radio Scotland looks remarkably stable. These figures cover the summer period including Wimbledon and the World Cup. As ever, Sportsound and Good Morning Scotland remain our big audience drivers. BBC Radio 2 continues to perform strongly but it is interesting to note that increases for the BBC UK networks don't seem to have happened at our expense.

“What the figures don't tell is the fantastic story of the ongoing creativity coming from every department in BBC Radio Scotland involved in making and supporting programmes. From News, sport, speech, comedy, drama, music and online, we are hearing and reading some brilliant content.”

The audience to BBC Radio Scotland is predominantly male and older than average, with 50 per cent aged 55+ and around 36 per cent in the 35-54 age-group. The average age of a BBC Radio Scotland listener remains 54.

Among the big fallers, however, were Clyde 2 (down 17.7 per cent between Q2 2010 and Q3 2010, ie from 254,000 to 209,000) and also Northsound 2 (down 14.6 per cent over the same time period, ie from 48,000 to 41,000). The consolation for Clyde 2 was that, with a reach of 178,000 during Q3 last year, its year-on-year figure was up 17.4 per cent. For Northsound 2, however, the year-on-year percentage figure was a fall of 31.7 per cent.

Both Clyde 2 and Northsound 2 are owned by Bauer Media and sister station, ForthOne, saw its Q2 2010-Q3 2010 reach fall by 9.7 per cent and its Q3 2009-Q3 2010 reach fall 11.3 per cent. But Forth2 was up 11.1 per cent between Q2 2010 and Q3 2010 and up 9.9 per cent, year-on-year.

And there was good news for Dundee-based Wave 102, which saw its year-on-year reach rise by 25 per cent, reflected in a Q2 2010-Q3 2010 increase of 7.1 per cent.

As for the big share-of-potential-audience figures, as always Radio Borders was just over 30 per cent, while the total for all Bauer stations in Scotland was 23.1 per cent between July and September this year, down just 0.9 per cent over the same period last year.

Said Bauer, in a statement: “Significantly, Clyde 1 extends its lead with a weekly reach of 542,000 – almost 100,000 more than its nearest rival. The Clyde 1 breakfast show also takes number 1 position in Glasgow and the West of Scotland, with 350,000 listeners each week.

“The increases are the first real evidence to suggest listeners are responding positively to the changes made to the Clyde 1 line-up and to the launch of the new breakfast show George & Suzie [George Bowie and Suzie McGuire] in the Morning. The show is 46 per cent bigger than the station’s nearest competition.”

Graham Bryce, managing director of Bauer Radio Scotland, is quoted, as saying: “In a fast moving media landscape, this is once again a fantastic result for our business.

“It demonstrates the strength and resilience of Bauer Radio in Scotland. I am delighted that the re-launched Clyde 1 Breakfast Show, 'George & Suzie in the Morning' has kicked off with an exceptional five-point lead in Glasgow and the West proving it immediately connects positively with our audience.

“Our ongoing commitment to create the very best possible entertainment, news, travel and music content for our local marketplaces is proving to be a successful strategy and one we will continue to deliver on.”

The company says its highlights included: ”Radio Borders is still the number one station in mainland Britain on weekly reach; over a quarter of all adults in Edinburgh, The Lothians and Fife, tuning into ForthOne each week; Bauer Stations are the No 1 commercial stations in all markets; [Scotland-wide] network show, In Demand, has added 38,000 listeners across Scotland and now has a weekly reach of over 400,000 listeners, an increase of ten per cent; Northsound 1 is listened to by two in five adults living in Aberdeen City and the Aberdeenshire area each week – it has 9000 more listeners since the last quarter; Tay FM has recorded a 14 per cent uplift in its audience year-on-year; Moray Firth Radio has seen its reach grow to 127,000 – a ten per cent year-on-year increase; and West Sound has increased its weekly reach to 185,000.”

At Real Radio Scotland, despite average reach drops of 6.1 per cent (Q2 2010 versus Q3 2010) and four per cent, year-on-year, its owners, GMG, was in upbeat mood.

In a statement issued by GMG Scotland, it says its headlines include: “Real Radio remains Scotland’s number one commercial radio station – by far; 665,000 adults tune in each week across the Central Belt; and listeners consume over 6.7 million hours of Real Radio each week.”

As for the company's other stations in Scotland, Smooth and Rock, the statement continues: ”105.2 Smooth Radio reaches 241,000 adult listeners a week, an increase of 39,000 year-on-year and hours are up by 166,000 (year-on-year) to 1.99 million hours each week. [Meanwhile,] 96.3 Rock Radio records an audience of 55,000 adult listeners a week.”

GMG Radio Scotland managing director, Gavin Bruce, is quoted, saying: “It’s encouraging to see that in such a competitive market place, GMG Radio’s stations in Scotland are attracting almost three in ten adult listeners from across the Central Belt each week and deliver in excess of nine million listening hours.”

During the last few months, the share of potential audience enjoyed in Scotland by all of the BBC's radio stations was 45.1 per cent. Together, all radio stations – BBC and commercial radio combined – enjoyed a 88.2 per cent share in Scotland.

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