We’ve teamed up with iLevel to bring you in-depth coverage of the latest radio listening figures.
The JNLR radio research for the first quarter of 2017 has been released. Nationally it shows there has been an increase in listenership to 82% or 3,083,000, an increase of 101,000 on the last book and 94,000 on the previous year. It also means that the total number listening to the radio is above the three million mark for the first time since 2015.
It should be noted that there has been a small increase in the estimated population in this survey and there are times when the overall percentage may actually go down in comparison to other books, but the absolute number of people could remain the same or indeed increase in some cases, again, due to the change in universe.
Dublin is looked at separately, but it’s interesting to compare the fortunes of the national reach and the Dublin reach the latter not having seen an increase in radio listenership since 2014 and it’s been on a straight decline since mid-2015.
The National stations all improved on a book on book basis with only Today FM showing a drop on a year on year basis. RTE added 24,000 on the last quarter and 13,000 on the year bringing them to 891,000 or 24% (-1%). They had some big gains in the morning with Sean O’Rourke adding 22,000 (7%) book on book.
Behind them is Today FM who increased on the quarter by a healthy 18,000 (5%) to bring them over the four hundred mark to 410,000 (11%) and it’s the station’s first improvement book on book since 2015Q1 which has to be seen as a positive.
2FM added 15,000 on the end of last year and is 3,000 ahead of where it was this time last year with Breakfast being their star performer. Newstalk added 16,000 on the quarter and 7,000 on the year. Lyric stands at 144,000 or 4% reach an improvement on both the quarter and on the year.
While the national and Dublin stations in the main improved the local area franchises took a bit of a pounding book on book with only six of the 17 showing an improvement.
Currently 75% of the Dublin population tune into radio every day or 820,000 people. This is up 25,000 on the previous book but in percentage terms, it’s down one point. Listenership of radio has been in decline in Dublin for the last six books in succession (in percentage terms) and whilst the national listenership has had a small uplift in this book the Dublin listenership sees no signs of gains.
The latest research shows that out of the twelve stations in the Dublin survey, nine of them show an increase over the last book but only four show a gain on the previous year. RTE1 dominates with 311,000 listeners every day or a 29% reach. It’s up 12,000 on the previous book and 6,000 on the same time last year. Behind them is FM104 with 178,000 listeners, an increase of 9,000 (5%) on the precious book. There’s a gap of 133,000 between first and second and interestingly that gap, at its narrowest was 52,000 in late 2012.
Newstalk added 5,000 this time around to 154,000 (14%) with no change on the previous year. Spin added 13,000 to 138,000 listeners, an increase of 9% which is the (Joint) highest of any of the stations under scrutiny. 98FM came in at 111,000 down 2,000 on the previous book and Q102 added 9% to 84,000.
Today FM lost 4,000 listeners compared to the last quarter and it further distances itself from the capital. In mid 2015, Today FM drew 22% of its listenership base from the capital but now it currently stands at 16%. It’s not alone struggling in the Pale; 2FM lost a further 1,000 this book to 50,000 in Dublin and it’s down 15,000 on the previous year.
In Cork, radio listenership stands at 83% or 355,000 people, which is up 16,000 on the last book. The big winner this book was Red FM adding 12% or 14,000 and really putting some daylight between it and 96FM.
Today FM also had a solid quarter in Cork adding 6,000 or 14% to its listener base. The only station not to see an increase in listeners was C103 dropping 3,000 over the quarter.
Looking at the individual programmes not it shows that RTE1 took all the berths in the top five gains table, book on book, with Marion Finucane gaining 28,000 (9%).
RTE also take all the prizes in the Year on year table with Sean O’Rourke taking the premier position with a gain of 28,000.In the falls, Countrywide took the biggest hit, book on book, with a 11,000 fall and also looking at it on a year on year basis.