The latest Rajar figures have been released for Q1 of 2023 showing that commercial radio stations have hit a record weekly reach, speaking to a total of 38.7 million people every week; up 1.5 million on Q1 2022. Commercial radio’s share of listening grew to 51.4%, since Q2 2022, commercial radio SOL has surpassed the BBC for the first time in 23 years. Total combined digital listening reached 68% share of listening – with Smart Speakers making up the majority of online listening (14%).

Global’s Heart was the top commercial radio brand for the period, reaching 11.3 million weekly listeners, an uplift of 3.6 percentage points on Q4 2022. In total, Global, who have such as LBC, Capital and Smooth, netted 25.27 million weekly listeners. Bauer Media network, the UK’s second biggest commercial radio company who have brands such as Absolute, KISS, Magic and Greatest Hits Radio Network, grew its weekly reach to 20.84 million listeners per week.

In terms of the highly coveted Breakfast show market, Heart Breakfast with Jamie Theakston and Amanda Holden remained the UK’s top commercial morning radio programme for Q1 2023, reaching four million weekly listeners. This was closely followed by Capital Breakfast with Roman Kemp, which saw a slight dip in audience (2.8 percentage points) but still remains the second largest commercial morning programme.

As a whole, the latest quarterly UK audience report showed radio reaches 49.4 million people, 88% of the population. Matt Payton, CEO of Radiocentre, the trade body for commercial radio, said of the latest Rajar results: “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.”

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