Another Million Listeners Racked up by BBC Radio Scotland

BBC Radio Scotland has cleared the million listenership mark for a second, successive quarter-year, according to figures just released.

Says audit body, RAJAR, the station's reach – defined as a minimum five minutes listening during the course of a week – was an average 1,035,000 between April and June, some 7.1 per cent up on the same time last year. However, it was down one per cent on the average 1,045,000 between January and March.

In a statement issued by the Corporation, BBC Radio Scotland head, Jeff Zycinski, is quoted, as saying: “During the first six months of this year we've continued to reach over a million listeners each week with an evolving schedule designed to meet the needs of listeners who not only have an appetite for news, sport and Scottish culture, but who also simply enjoy the company of presenters like Kaye Adams, John Beattie, Richard Gordon and Ricky Ross. All credit to them and to the production teams who support them.”

For the many Scottish stations owned by Bauer Media, it was also a generally upbeat picture. The portfolio as a whole reached an average 1,504,000 listeners: up 4.3 per cent year-on-year and 2.7 per cent, quarter-on-quarter.

Its Clyde 1 and 2 stations were both up, in terms of reach, year-on-year: 8.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent, respectively, although the former's Q2 reach this year of 575,000 was down 0.7 per cent on the average for the first three months of this year.

It was similarly good news for Bauer's Edinburgh-based ForthOne and 2 stations, with the year-on-year reach up 6.1 per cent and 7.8 per cent respectively, with the former's Q1-Q2 figure up 16.7 per cent.

But while Northsound One's year-on-year reach was up 17.4 per cent, its sister Northsound Two was down 14.6 per cent. 

As usual, Bauer's Radio Borders station commanded a massive share of its available adult audience: some 36 per cent, albeit down 3.1 per cent on the first three months of this year.

Away from Bauer, GMG Radio's Real Radio Scotland saw its year-on-year reach drop 8.8 per cent, while sister station, 96.3 Rock Radio – expected to be the subject of a management buy-out led by GMG senior manager and former managing director of GMG's Scottish division, Billy Anderson – saw its year-on-year reach up a massive 24.1 per cent (but down 2.9 per cent, quarter-on-quarter).

Elsewhere, the year-on-year reach for Fife's Kingdom FM was up 15.7 per cent, for Aberdeen-based Original 106 up ten per cent, for Dundee-based Wave 102 up 7.1 per cent and for Forth Valley-based Central FM up 10.2 per cent.

Capital FM's year-on-year reach was up 8.9 per cent, representing continued, inevitable levelling off from the triple figure increases of a couple of years ago (at the time operating as Galaxy).

It was a set of figures with very few negatives, although Tay AM's nine per cent year-on-year reach drop was, behind Northsound Two, Scotland's biggest faller. 

So, no surprise RAJAR is announcing a new UK-wide high in radio listening, with 91.7 per cent of the population estimated to be tuning in to radio every week.

Read radio lecturer and presenter, John Collins' immediate reaction, here

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