Rajar: NME Radio debuts with 215,000 listeners

NME Radio has posted a weekly audience figure of 215,000 and a 0.1 per cent share of all radio listening in its debut set of results from Rajar.

The station, run by XFM founder Sammy Jacob under licence from magazine publisher IPC, launched on digital TV in June, but has yet to go live on DAB digital radio.

Figures released today by Rajar show the average NME Radio listener tuned in for 2.8 hours a week – giving the station a combined total of 606,000 listening hours a week.

NME publishing director Paul Cheal said: 'This result for NME Radio strengthens our position as a truly multi-platform brand and plays a vital part in NME increasing its reach which is already over one million music fans every week.'

Speaking at the Rajar press conference this morning, Alison Winter, the head of audience insight at commercial radio body Radiocentre, described the NME debut as 'a fine start and a promising brand to attract young people to digital".

In its first set of listening figures since it relaunched in June, Bauer-owned Q Radio rose 19.3 per cent compared with the previous quarter, with a weekly audience up from 277,000 to 330,000.

But the station's audience is down 17.5 per cent compared with the same period last year, when it was a non-stop music service with no editorial content and had an audience of 400,000.

Heat Radio posted its highest-ever weekly audience, up 10.9 per cent year on year to 458,000.

 

The station, which until last September was a non-stop music jukebox, was relaunched to include editorial content from the celebrity magazine's journalists. A team of presenters was hired to present celebrity news, gossip, interviews and phone-ins.

Another Bauer magazine spin-off, Mojo Radio, which has yet to undergo a relaunch, fell 21.3 per cent quarter on quarter, losing 70,000 listeners to post a weekly audience of 259,000.

But it was still up compared with summer 2007, when it had an audience of 219,000.

Kerrang! Radio - which is available on FM in the West Midlands and nationwide on digital radio - rose 3.6 per cent on the quarter to 1.4m but dipped two per cent year on year.

Bauer Radio group managing director Dee Ford said: "We continue to dominate digital with excellent growth at Heat and the newly relaunched Q. A great effort from our radio professionals."

A question mark hangs over another of Bauer's magazine spin-off projects, Closer Radio, which was due to launch on the new national commercial digital platform.

Channel 4, a majority shareholder in the digital radio consortium, announced last week that it was pulling out of radio entirely. Ofcom is due to meet Bauer later this week to discuss its plans.

The Radiocentre's Alison Winter said strong performances by a number of digital stations showed listeners were still interested in DAB despite the setback.

"Of course it's disappointing that Channel 4 will not be entering the market, but audience and share of listening are all up, suggesting a positive future for the platform," she said.

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