Rajar radio listening figures: Record numbers tuned in to Radio 4 and Today ahead of Brexit vote

Johnny Humphrys

The BBC’s flagship radio news and current affairs programme, Today, recorded record figures in the second quarter of this year with 7.3m listeners.

The figures, compiled by Rajar, compared with 6.8m listeners a week in the first quarter of the year and 6.7m in the same period last year. They are the highest figures Today has seen under the current system of industry audience measurement (which dates back to 1999) and suggest listeners may have been looking for information in the run up to the EU referendum on 23 June.

According to the BBC, Radio 4, BBC Radio 6 and BBC Asian Network all reached record audiences in the second quarter.

Overall, radio is reckoned to reach a record 48.7m UK adults a week according to Rajar.

BBC director of radio Helen Boaden said: “The overall radio industry in the UK is in incredibly rude health. I’m delighted that in today’s digital world, audiences continue to appreciate the power of radio – its ability to provide daily companionship and entertainment, to share stories and to find and curate the best music with such a deep understanding of different audiences across the UK. Radio is a vital part of the UK’s media ecology and we should all celebrate that.”

Radio 4 saw an overall 8.8 per cent increase in its weekly reach in the second quarter, to 11.5m listeners.

Radio 5 Live (including Sports Extra) rose 5.9 per cent to 6.2m.

UK listeners of the BBC World Service fell 6.1 per cent to 1.5m a week.

BBC Asian Network reached 676,000 listeners, up from 607,000 in the same period a year earlier.

Overall BBC local and regional radio station listening numbers fell 5.1 per cent to 8.4m a week.

Talkradio, the new speech station launched by UTV in March, recorded a reach of 224,000 a week. Sister station Talksport grew 6.5 per cent year on year to 3.3m. Both stations have been bought by News Corp in a deal which was announced in June.

LBC, the London-based station now available across the UK, grew 12.3 per cent to 1.7m.

PICTURE: Today presenter John Humphrys.

Complete breakdown of UK radio stations listeners for April to June 2016

Source: Rajar, figures are for weekly reach

Station/Group Reach 000s Reach 000s
Jun ’15 Jun ’16 Y on Y Jun ’16 %
102 Touch FM – Warks Worcs Cotswolds 47 49 4.3
102.4 Wish FM 82 74 -9.8
102.5 Radio Pembrokeshire 42 37 -11.9
106 JACKfm (Oxford) 83 71 -14.5
106.3 Bridge FM 37 36 -2.7
107 JACK fm Berkshire 18 23 27.8
107.2 Wire FM 57 29 -49.1
107.4 Tower FM 51 44 -13.7
107.5 Sovereign Radio 20 21 5.0
107.6 Banbury Sound 17 14 -17.6
107.8 Arrow FM for Hastings 17 15 -11.8
1Xtra from the BBC 958 1079 12.6
2BR 58 54 -6.9
3FM 30 32 6.7
96.2 The Revolution 24 19 -20.8
96.2 Touch FM – Coventry 20 20 0.0
96.4 FM The Wave 139 149 7.2
97.2 Stray FM 46 46 0.0
Absolute 80s 1603 1581 -1.4
Absolute Radio n/a 2185 n/a
Absolute Radio (London) 847 765 -9.7
Absolute Radio (National) 1564 n/a n/a
Absolute Radio (West Midlands) (was Planet Rock (West Midlands)) 203 199 -2.0
Absolute Radio 70s 256 263 2.7
Absolute Radio 90s 539 679 26.0
Absolute Radio Classic Rock 540 563 4.3
BBC 6 Music 2055 2266 10.3
BBC Coventry and Warwickshire 85 84 -1.2
BBC Essex 187 212 13.4
BBC Hereford & Worcester 111 121 9.0
BBC Radio 1 10436 9455 -9.4
BBC Radio 2 15141 15298 1.0
BBC Radio 3 1894 2201 16.2
BBC Radio 4 10574 11507 8.8
BBC Radio 4 Extra 1954 1950 -0.2
BBC Radio 5 live 5322 5858 10.1
BBC Radio 5 live sports extra 1625 1310 -19.4
BBC Radio Berkshire 119 122 2.5
BBC Radio Bristol 120 138 15.0
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire 113 128 13.3
BBC Radio Cornwall 133 136 2.3
BBC Radio Cumbria 133 123 -7.5
BBC Radio Cymru 116 103 -11.2
BBC Radio Derby 149 146 -2.0
BBC Radio Devon 214 200 -6.5
BBC Radio Gloucestershire 95 94 -1.1
BBC Radio Guernsey 22 21 -4.5
BBC Radio Humberside 194 169 -12.9
BBC Radio Jersey 31 33 6.5
BBC Radio Kent 213 207 -2.8
BBC Radio Lancashire 186 199 7.0
BBC Radio Leeds 237 206 -13.1
BBC Radio Leicester 168 132 -21.4
BBC Radio Lincolnshire 91 102 12.1
BBC Radio London (was BBC London 94.9) 477 510 6.9
BBC Radio Manchester 230 220 -4.3
BBC Radio Merseyside 304 273 -10.2
BBC Radio Newcastle 289 300 3.8
BBC Radio Norfolk 188 184 -2.1
BBC Radio Northampton 94 78 -17.0
BBC Radio Nottingham 151 163 7.9
BBC Radio Oxford 74 85 14.9
BBC Radio Scotland 941 929 -1.3
BBC Radio Sheffield 237 234 -1.3
BBC Radio Shropshire 95 96 1.1
BBC Radio Stoke 131 109 -16.8
BBC Radio Suffolk 123 102 -17.1
BBC Radio Tees 149 145 -2.7
BBC Radio Ulster 504 520 3.2
BBC Radio Wales 408 333 -18.4
BBC Radio Wiltshire/Swindon 97 74 -23.7
BBC Radio York 80 89 11.3
BBC Somerset 65 59 -9.2
BBC Sussex and BBC Surrey 260 246 -5.4
BBC Three Counties Radio 153 156 2.0
BBC WM (Birmingham & Black Country) 219 221 0.9
BBC World Service 1548 1454 -6.1
C.F.M (Bauer Carlisle) 110 114 3.6
Capital Birmingham 424 459 8.3
Capital East Midlands 479 528 10.2
Capital East Midlands – Derbyshire n/a 104 n/a
Capital East Midlands – Leicestershire n/a 186 n/a
Capital East Midlands – Nottinghamshire n/a 240 n/a
Capital Liverpool (was 107.6 Juice FM) 251 234 -6.8
Capital London 2200 2266 3.0
Capital Manchester 565 473 -16.3
Capital North East 510 494 -3.1
Capital North West and Wales 146 171 17.1
Capital Scotland 531 580 9.2
Capital South Coast 185 218 17.8
Capital South Wales 199 189 -5.0
Capital XTRA (London) 478 639 33.7
Capital XTRA (UK) 951 1322 39.0
Capital Yorkshire 1041 1048 0.7
Central FM 53 51 -3.8
Channel 103 FM 45 54 20.0
Cheshire’s Silk 106.9 22 23 4.5
Chester’s Dee 106.3 38 37 -2.6
Chill n/a 135 n/a
City Talk 105.9 58 48 -17.2
Classic FM 5276 5511 4.5
Clyde 1 583 643 10.3
Clyde 2 161 156 -3.1
Clyde 3 21 18 -14.3
Connect DAB 4 2 -50.0
Connect FM (was Connect FM and Lite 106.8FM) 34 44 29.4
Cool FM 354 387 9.3
Dearne FM 46 51 10.9
Dilse 1035am 52 103 98.1
Downtown Country n/a 100 n/a
Downtown Radio (DTR) 297 248 -16.5
Dream 100 35 43 22.9
Eagle Radio 132 141 6.8
Fire Radio 53 55 3.8
Forth 1 342 366 7.0
Forth 2 66 45 -31.8
Forth 3 10 8 -20.0
Free Radio 80s (Birmingham & Black Country) 49 96 95.9
Free Radio 80s (Coventry & Warwickshire) 24 26 8.3
Free Radio 80s (Herefordshire & Worcestershire) n/a 8 n/a
Free Radio 80s (Shropshire) 15 19 26.7
Free Radio FM (Birmingham & Black Country) (was BRMB and Beacon) 345 347 0.6
Free Radio FM (Coventry & Warwickshire) (was Mercia) 117 106 -9.4
Free Radio FM (Herefordshire & Worcestershire) (was Wyvern) 99 95 -4.0
Free Radio FM (Shropshire) (was Beacon) 96 87 -9.4
Gem 106 (East Midlands) 427 503 17.8
Gold East Midlands 74 68 -8.1
Gold London 285 333 16.8
Gold Manchester 58 70 20.7
Hallam 2 (was Magic AM (Sheffield)) 89 95 6.7
Hallam 3 15 9 -40.0
Hallam FM 312 286 -8.3
Heart Cambridgeshire 244 253 3.7
Heart East Anglia 254 292 15.0
Heart East Anglia – Norfolk n/a 148 n/a
Heart East Anglia – Suffolk n/a 143 n/a
Heart Essex 404 416 3.0
Heart Essex – Chelmsford & Southend n/a 358 n/a
Heart Essex – Colchester n/a 51 n/a
Heart Essex – Harlow n/a 19 n/a
Heart Four Counties 498 572 14.9
Heart Four Counties – 96.6 FM Hertfordshire n/a 31 n/a
Heart Four Counties – Bedfordshire n/a 105 n/a
Heart Four Counties – Beds/Bucks/Herts n/a 150 n/a
Heart Four Counties – Milton Keynes n/a 76 n/a
Heart Four Counties – Northamptonshire n/a 183 n/a
Heart Kent 391 352 -10.0
Heart London 1985 1724 -13.1
Heart North East 310 318 2.6
Heart North Wales 129 124 -3.9
Heart North West 558 630 12.9
Heart Scotland 424 416 -1.9
Heart Solent 287 281 -2.1
Heart South Wales 458 460 0.4
Heart South West 408 401 -1.7
Heart South West – Cornwall 109 102 -6.4
Heart South West – Exeter & Torbay (Exeter) n/a 99 n/a
Heart South West – Exeter & Torbay (Torbay) n/a 66 n/a
Heart South West – North Devon n/a 46 n/a
Heart South West – Plymouth n/a 82 n/a
Heart South West – South Hams n/a 11 n/a
Heart Sussex 319 330 3.4
Heart Thames Valley 351 383 9.1
Heart Thames Valley – Berks & N.Hants n/a 230 n/a
Heart Thames Valley – Oxfordshire n/a 153 n/a
Heart West Country 651 699 7.4
Heart West Country – Bristol/Weston & Bath n/a 252 n/a
Heart West Country – Gloucestershire n/a 130 n/a
Heart West Country – Somerset n/a 131 n/a
Heart West Country – Wiltshire n/a 131 n/a
Heart West Midlands 700 682 -2.6
Heart Yorkshire 406 397 -2.2
Heat 833 872 4.7
IOW Radio 40 39 -2.5
Island FM 104.7 31 36 16.1
JACK n/a 55 n/a
JACKfm 2 Oxford 40 61 52.5
Jazz FM (National) 560 597 6.6
KCFM 82 84 2.4
Kerrang! 843 734 -12.9
Key 103 387 n/a n/a
Key 103 n/a 342 n/a
Key 2 (was Magic 1152 (Manchester)) 57 n/a n/a
Key 2 (was Magic 1152 (Manchester)) n/a 60 n/a
Key 3 52 n/a n/a
Key 3 n/a 32 n/a
Kingdom FM 60 54 -10.0
Kiss n/a 4804 n/a
Kiss (East) 452 446 -1.3
Kiss (London) 2120 2127 0.3
Kiss (West) 505 465 -7.9
Kiss Fresh 576 593 3.0
Kisstory 1459 1540 5.6
KL.FM 96.7 54 60 11.1
kmfm East 89 94 5.6
kmfm West 70 87 24.3
Lakeland Radio 18 19 5.6
LBC 97.3 1137 1292 13.6
LBC London News (was LBC News 1152) 513 560 9.2
Lincs FM 102.2 317 314 -0.9
Lyca Radio 1458am 160 173 8.1
Magic n/a 3301 n/a
Magic (London) 1999 1632 -18.4
Magic Chilled n/a 233 n/a
Magic Network n/a 3699 n/a
Manx Radio 47 36 -23.4
Mellow Magic n/a 380 n/a
Metro 2 Radio (was Magic 1152 (Newcastle)) 113 114 0.9
Metro 3 Radio 11 12 9.1
Metro Radio 379 307 -19.0
Mi-Soul n/a 29 n/a
Minster FM 72 76 5.6
Mix 96 46 41 -10.9
Moray Firth Radio (Bauer Inverness) 115 116 0.9
Nation Gold n/a 4 n/a
Nation Radio 179 113 -36.9
North Norfolk Radio 21 18 -14.3
Northsound 1 138 131 -5.1
Northsound 2 37 30 -18.9
Norwich 99.9fm 41 44 7.3
Oak FM 18 26 44.4
Original 106 (Aberdeen) 75 79 5.3
Panjab Radio n/a 77 n/a
Peak 107 FM 78 77 -1.3
Pirate FM 157 161 2.5
Planet Rock n/a 986 n/a
Premier Christian Radio 175 131 -25.1
Pulse 1 (was The Pulse) 95 n/a n/a
Pulse 1 (was The Pulse) n/a 118 n/a
Pulse 2 28 n/a n/a
Pulse 2 n/a 30 n/a
Q Radio 154 122 -20.8
Q Radio (Belfast) (was Citybeat) 133 121 -9.0
Radio Aire 77 92 19.5
Radio Aire 2 (was Magic 828 (Leeds)) 73 75 2.7
Radio Aire 3 13 8 -38.5
Radio Borders (Bauer Borders) 55 55 0.0
Radio Carmarthenshire and Scarlet FM 31 32 3.2
Radio Ceredigion 20 16 -20.0
Radio City 382 388 1.6
Radio City 2 (was Magic 1548 (Liverpool)) 58 151 160.3
Radio City 3 25 16 -36.0
Radio Essex (was Southend & Chelmsford) 42 33 -21.4
Radio Essex DAB 51 42 -17.6
Radio Exe 22 29 31.8
Radio Mansfield 103.2 41 28 -31.7
Radio Plymouth 41 36 -12.2
Radio Wave 96.5 FM 70 68 -2.9
Radio X London (was XFM London) 434 442 1.8
Radio X Manchester (was XFM Manchester) 194 157 -19.1
Radio Yorkshire 65 n/a n/a
Radio Yorkshire n/a 39 n/a
Ridings FM 46 33 -28.3
Rock FM 229 213 -7.0
Rock FM 2 (was Magic 999 (Preston)) 26 53 103.8
Rock FM 3 22 14 -36.4
RockSport (was Eklipse Sports Radio) 7 n/a n/a
Rother FM 32 26 -18.8
Rugby FM 23 21 -8.7
Sam FM Bristol (was JACK fm (Bristol)) 104 72 -30.8
Sam FM South Coast (was JACK fm (South Coast)) 216 172 -20.4
Sam FM Swindon (surveyed as JACK fm (Swindon)) 31 24 -22.6
Signal 107 62 52 -16.1
Signal One 279 258 -7.5
Signal Two 67 72 7.5
Smooth Extra n/a 987 n/a
Smooth Radio Cambridgeshire 43 59 37.2
Smooth Radio Devon 47 45 -4.3
Smooth Radio East Anglia 62 59 -4.8
Smooth Radio East Midlands 332 422 27.1
Smooth Radio Essex 39 85 117.9
Smooth Radio Four Counties 60 64 6.7
Smooth Radio Kent 53 82 54.7
Smooth Radio London 684 782 14.3
Smooth Radio North East 485 474 -2.3
Smooth Radio North West 1067 1087 1.9
Smooth Radio North West and Wales 91 107 17.6
Smooth Radio Scotland 392 400 2.0
Smooth Radio Solent 40 105 162.5
Smooth Radio South Wales 75 72 -4.0
Smooth Radio Sussex 50 68 36.0
Smooth Radio Thames Valley 46 38 -17.4
Smooth Radio West Country 120 87 -27.5
Smooth Radio West Midlands 464 480 3.4
Spire FM 43 42 -2.3
Spirit FM 48 53 10.4
Star North East 49 40 -18.4
Sun FM 72 71 -1.4
Sunrise Radio 211 n/a n/a
Sunrise Radio London n/a 257 n/a
Sunrise Radio National n/a 388 n/a
Swansea Bay Radio (surveyed as Nation Hits!) 39 27 -30.8
Swansea Sound – 1170 MW 50 37 -26.0
talkRADIO n/a 224 n/a
talkSPORT 3033 3289 8.4
talkSPORT2 n/a 285 n/a
Tay 2 55 40 -27.3
Tay 3 1 2 100.0
Tay FM 148 135 -8.8
TFM 2 (was Magic 1170 (Teesside)) 66 66 0.0
TFM 3 7 9 28.6
TFM Radio 171 148 -13.5
The Arrow n/a 56 n/a
The Bay 98 101 3.1
THE BEACH 61 61 0.0
The Bee 50 36 -28.0
The Breeze (Basingstoke / Newbury and Andover) 34 54 58.8
The Breeze (Cheltenham) 20 18 -10.0
The Breeze (Solent/ East Hants and West Surrey) 70 79 12.9
The Breeze (Yeovil/ Shaftesbury and Bridgwater) 57 53 -7.0
The Breeze South Devon (surveyed as The Breeze (was Palm FM)) 33 39 18.2
The Breeze South West (Bristol/ Weston/ Bath and West Wilts) 129 88 -31.8
The Hits 777 741 -4.6
The Wireless from Age UK n/a 23 n/a
Time FM 106.6 19 n/a n/a
Time FM 107.5 18 23 27.8
Total BBC Radio Solent 264 283 7.2
Total Connect n/a 47 n/a
Touch FM Staffs 29 28 -3.4
Town 102 FM 57 56 -1.8
Trax FM 91 68 -25.3
U105 189 195 3.2
UCB 1 (was UCB UK) n/a 202 n/a
Viking 2 (was Magic 1161 (Hull)) 48 63 31.3
Viking 3 4 7 75.0
Viking FM 222 195 -12.2
Virgin Radio n/a 409 n/a
Wave 102 23 20 -13.0
Wave 105 FM (Bauer South Coast) 395 398 0.8
Wessex FM 55 53 -3.6
West Sound (Bauer Southwest Scotland) 192 180 -6.3
XFM Scotland 39 n/a n/a
XS Manchester (was 106.1 Real XS) 114 72 -36.8
Yorkshire Coast Radio 52 50 -3.8

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