RAJARs reveal listening figures dip for BBC Radio Scotland

LISTENING figures for BBC Radio Scotland have dropped by just over seven per cent, between the second quarter of last year and 12 months on.

Says auditing body, RAJAR, the station’s reach – as measured by adults tuning in for a minimum five minutes in a week – was an average 959,000, down from 1.35million on average between April and June last year. That’s equivalent to a 7.3 per cent drop.

The station’s quarter-on-quarter figure – from the first quarter of this year to the second – was also down, this time by 4.8 per cent.

But the BBC’s experience was as nothing to Glasgow-based Clyde 2 and its sister station, Edinburgh-based Forth 2, which both experienced year-on-year reach falls of 23.2 per cent and 26.8 per cent, respectively.

Another big faller was Dundee-based Wave 102, with a year-on-year reach fall of 23.3 per cent.

There was quite the reverse for Smooth Radio Glasgow, with a 20.5 per cent year-on-year reach increase.

In a statement, head of BBC Radio Scotland, Jeff Zycinski, is quoted, as saying: “It’s a fairly steady performance across the bulk of the schedule with Good Morning Scotland and Sportsound pulling in the biggest number of listeners. Compared with last year we did see some drop-off on Saturday afternoons in the final months of the football season – mainly, of course, because there was no dramatic title chase at the top of the SPL table. Otherwise the data supports our strategy of offering more speech programmes in daytime and specialist music in the evening – and to offer a real alternative to the music schedules offered by commercial radio and our colleagues at BBC Radio 2.”

Among other stations celebrating was Capital FM, which saw its year-on-year reach figure rise by 11.1 per cent.

A media release from the station claims “a staggering increase of 52,000 brand new listeners over the last 12 months”.

Similarly a media release on behalf of Smooth and sister station, Real Radio Scotland, says: “Smooth Radio is celebrating another record breaking reach in Scotland. The station has recorded an all-time high weekly audience of 300,000 adult listeners – up 51,000 year-on-year. Total listening hours are also up 586,000 year-on-year to 2.48 million a week.”

While Real Radio’s reach was down 7.3 per cent, year-on-year, the release continued: “Sister station Real Radio is attracting more listeners than any other commercial radio station in the central belt, with 599,000 adults tuning in for 5.71 million hours every week. Real Radio still remains Scotland’s No.1 commercial radio station.”

And it added: “Classic rock station Real XS in Glasgow has recorded a record reach of 74,000 adult listeners each week, up 7,000 year-on-year. 836,000 adults now tune into Smooth or Real in Scotland each week for a total of 8.59 million hours – up 687,000 year-on-year.”

Meanwhile, Clyde 1 and Forth One saw their year-on-year reach figures down 8.2 per cent and up 3.4 per cent, respectively.

Other year-on-year reach risers were Kingdom FM (2.5 per cent), Northsound Two (4.9 per cent), 96.3 Real XS Glasgow (formerly 96.3 Rock Radio), Original 106 (6.8 per cent) and Tay AM (8.5 per cent).

For owners, Bauer Media, their overall reach was down 1.7 per cent, reflecting the varying fortunes of their sizeable Scottish portfolio, which includes, among others, Northsound and Radio Borders.

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