Industry News

Commercial radio audience at an all-time high

Figures released by RAJAR today reveal that a record 38.7m people are now tuning in to commercial radio every week, 1.5m more than the same period last year. Commercial radio’s share of listening has also grown to a new record of 51.4%, up from 48.4% in Q1 2022.

The official audience data for the first quarter of 2023 also reports that the share of commercial radio listening time taking place on online platforms is now 28%, which for the first time ever is higher than commercial radio’s analogue listening (AM/FM) at 27%.

For radio as a whole, total combined digital listening is 68%, of which 39.8% is DAB and 24.4% online. The majority of this online listening now takes place on smart speakers, accounting for 14% of listening time (up from 10% in Q1 2022).

Additionally, commercial radio now has 6 million listeners more than the BBC, up from 3.4m in Q1 2022, while the combined weekly audience for all BBC and commercial radio in the UK remains extremely strong at 49.4 million people, which is 88% of the adult population.

CEO of Radiocentre, Matt Payton said:

“It’s great to see commercial radio setting new audience records in these latest RAJAR figures. There is real momentum behind radio and audio, with the industry stronger than ever thanks to the investment and innovation of radio groups and stations all over the UK. This couldn’t be better news for advertisers and listeners alike. The continued growth of listening online and on smart speakers also demonstrates how important new legislation safeguarding UK radio is going to be for audiences, in the form of the new Media Bill”.