The number of hours spent listening to the radio in the UK passed
the one billion mark for the first time in the last quarter of 1999,
according to the latest RAJAR figures.
Radio now reaches 89 per cent of the population, compared to 85 per cent
in the last quarter of 1998. The BBC has increased its share from 56 to
65 per cent, while commercial radio had a 64 per cent share at the end
of 1999, compared to 60 per cent at the end of 1998.
Although RAJAR changed its research methodology at the beginning of last
year, the overall trend is towards more radio listening and a
particularly strong performance by the BBC stations.
Commercial radio continues to have a hold on younger audiences
attracting 76 per cent of 15- to 44-year-olds each week, and 70 per cent
of children aged four to 14. Virgin Radio, in particular, increased its
share of the younger market, with a ten per cent increase of listeners
aged 25 to 34, compared to the previous quarter.
Radio Advertising Bureau managing director Justin Sampson pointed to
increased radio listening among internet users as a possible factor in
the growing popularity of radio.
’Thirteen per cent of all radio listening takes place on weekday
evenings,’ he said.
According to a report by Continental Research among internet users,
radio listening is up by 11 per cent, and TV and video viewing down by
25 and 21 per cent respectively.