Today FM closes gap on RTÉ Radio 1 as it heads towards one million listeners

There are now 3.4 million people tuning in to radio every weekday across Ireland according to the latest JNLR figures for Q4 2023.

Two million of those are consuming an RTÉ’s radio service, as the broadcast adds a slight increase from its 1.9m last survey.

Radio 1 remains the only station with a weekly reach of over one million with gains of +29,000 BoB and +68,000 YoY, although Today FM is not far behind now with 981,000.

RTÉ 2fm weekday reaches increases by 1% YoY to 9%, and RTÉ lyric FM has 322,000 listeners on a weekly basis increasing +9,000 BoB, +22,000 YoY.

The JNLR report, covering the period January ‘23 to December ‘23 shows that Radio enjoys huge listenership with 91% of Irish adults and 87% of 15–34-year-olds listening to radio every week.

Newstalk saw increases across all audience metrics including Market Share at 8% (+.4% Bob) while the stations Weekly Reach now stands at 838,000 (+17,000 BoB) and Daily Reach at 480,000 (+14,000 BoB). All of Newstalk’s primetime schedule also achieved audience growth.

Breakfast with Ciara Kelly and Shane Coleman increased their listenership to 149,000 (+5,000) while Pat Kenny continues to be Newstalk’s most listened to show with an audience of 216,000 (+11,000 BoB).

Today FM maintained a Market Share of 9.7% in the latest results, retaining its No. 1 position in the Irish commercial radio market. Weekly Reach surged once again, now at 981,000 (+22,000 BoB) which is over 100,000 more year on year (106,000). Today FM’s daily audience reach also increased, to 520,000 (+5,000 BoB).

Ian Dempsey, Dave Moore and Matt Cooper all grew their ratings with The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show now bringing in 228,000 listeners (+3,000 BoB) while Dave Moore on Today FM now commands the largest audience on the schedule with a listenership of 230,000 (+2,000 BoB). The Last Word with Matt Cooper increased its audience reach to 186,000 (+4,000 BoB).

Ireland’s Classic Hits Radio has recorded its 7th radio listenership increase in a row. The multicity radio station has has increased its audience in all key metrics – including daily listenership weekly listening and radio market share and now boasts 351,000 listeners, making it by far the largest commercial station in the county outside the national stations Today FM and Newstalk.

Radio Nova has scored its highest market share in its 13-year history, pushing it into the number two position in the Dublin marketplace. The station is now second only to FM104 in the city and has passed out Today FM, 98FM, Spin and Q102. The station has also shown increases in total weekly listenership to 211,000 (+10,000) and daily reach to 114,000 (+5).

The latest set of results puts Radio Nova and FM104 as the two leading radio stations in Dublin.

FM104 grew its weekly reach by 32,000 listeners while Q102 added an additional 29,000 listeners year on year. The combined weekly reach in Dublin now stands at 354,000 or 29% of Dublin adults.

SPIN 1038 achieved its highest ever Breakfast audience with Emma, Dave & Aisling achieving a listenership of 50,000. 98FM increased its Weekly Reach once again, now standing at 186,000 (+4,000 BoB). 98FM’s Brian & Suzanne grew their audience in the past 3 months, now entertaining a Dublin audience of 28,000 daily.

SPIN South West has increased its Market Share to 13% (+.4% BoB) and maintains its position of biggest station in the region across Weekly and Daily Reach.

In Cork, Red FM had growth across all key audience metrics. Today’s results position Red FM as the leading radio station in Cork with a Market Share of 20.8% (+1% BoB), Weekly Reach of 185,000 (+8,000 BoB) and a daily listening audience of 133,000 (+5,000 BoB).

All daytime shows on Red FM saw their listenership increase too including Breakfast with KC which grew by 2,000 BoB to 49,000 while The Neil Prendeville Show also added 2,000 listeners bringing its audience to 76,000.

Cork’s 96fm had added 15,000 listeners and C103 an additional 16,000 listeners. Weekly reach for Cork’s 96fm and C103 now stands at 248,000, or 52% of the 15+ population.

iRadio in its first set of listenership results as part of Bauer Media has delivered increases on all key audience measures, Market Share 7.2% (+ 0.2% BoB), Weekly Reach 345,000 (+6,000 BoB), Daily Reach 178,000 (+3,000 BoB).

In Limerick 92,000 people tuned into Live 95fm on a weekly basis, equating to 53% of the population, while 92,000 people tuned into LMFM, capturing 39% of the available audience.

urbanmedia, the Wireless Ireland owned sales house, also delivered growth and now reaches 982,000 people weekly, helped by partner stations Galway Bay FM delivering 115,000 and WLR 64,000 in weekly reach.


Ciaran Cunningham CEO Radiocentre Ireland said: “I am delighted to see that radio continues to grow audience in Ireland and with 91% of adults tuning into radio every week, it is clear that radio listening is booming in Ireland and today’s figures are a great reminder that Irish radio is a central part of people’s lives. Live radio continues to deliver brilliant content that is consumed by millions of listeners every day. A record high in daily listeners is a testament to the quality of radio in Ireland and to the hard work and investment from radio stations up and down the country.”

Fyona Smith, Managing Editor of Today FM said: “Our dedication to delivering exceptional content has yielded phenomenal results. The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show, Dave Moore, and The Last Word with Matt Cooper have reached unparalleled levels of listenership, marking a milestone achievement spanning over a decade. The latest JNLR results reaffirm our commitment to those who choose Today FM each day. Your loyalty and trust inspire us to strive for excellence every day, and for that, we are immensely grateful! The record-breaking audience growth of Today FM is a testament to the commitment of our exceptional team. Here’s to reaching new heights together and creating countless more extraordinary moments in the future!”.

James Brownlow, Managing Editor, Music & Entertainment at Bauer Media Audio Ireland commented: “With listeners across Ireland making Today FM their destination for the best music and entertainment above others is a testament to everyone involved in steering the magic of the station. After the results were published I asked Ian Dempsey, back when he started on his breakfast show journey did he predict he’d be scoring his highest show ratings 25 years on, driving the station to do the same? Ian pointed out that Today FM has the best team and anything is possible when you have that, I couldn’t agree more.”

Managing Editor of Newstalk, Patricia Monahan commented: “We are delighted that our content is striking a chord with listeners and that so many are spending significant time with us every day.

Huge congratulations to all our hardworking teams who show great dedication and creativity to produce the best possible output for our audiences.”

NOVA CEO/Programme Director, Kevin Branigan, says, “The JNLR results today place Radio Nova ahead of almost every music radio station in Dublin on radio market share and signify that Nova and FM104 are the two leading radio stations in the city. We’re ahead of Today FM, 98FM, Spin and Q102 and it literally could not be a better result for us. We never loose sight of the loyalty that our listeners show us Thank you, as always, to all of our listeners in Dublin, Kildare, Wicklow, Meath and further afield, for listening to Radio Nova.

And in his role as Classic Hits Radio’s Chief Executive, Kevin added: “We’re delighted with this latest set of radio ratings, which show further audience growth for Ieland’s Classic Hits Radio! It’s our 7th survey in a row to increase our daily and weekly listenership, which now stands at 351,000 listeners! Thank you to everyone in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Clare and further afield for listening to Ireland’s Classic Hits Radio”.

Commenting on the results, Sean Barry, Managing Director of Wireless Ireland said: “We’re excited to see the continued growth in our audiences and delighted that content improvements seem to be resonating with them. This strong set of figures aligned with our growing digital proposition puts us in a strong position for 2024 and beyond.”

Peter Woods, Head of RTÉ Radio 1 said: “This is obviously a very good book for Radio 1, up across weekdays and weekend programming. In the first place I’d like to thank the listeners who continue to put their trust overwhelmingly in this station. There are also our presenters who are the very best, across all genres. Nobody should underestimate what it takes to front a programme and consistently perform, day after day. And there is – above all – the leadership and commitment our production teams provide every single day, which drives everything we do. All of our schedule is performing. Radio 1 has a particular commitment to Irish music and Irish artists, male and female. It is important to emphasise that this works.”

Dan Healy, Head of RTÉ Radio Strategy and RTÉ 2FM said: “It is great that 2fm has consolidated audiences gained in the last survey. Listeners have been retained in general right across the daytime schedule. The new weekend schedule, which started this time last year, is going from strength to strength with Laura Fox and Roz and Emma on 2FM continuing to grow from survey to survey. 2fm has always led the charge in promoting Irish produced music to the front and centre and we are looking forward the RTÉ Choice Music Prize on March 7th which will be hosted by Tracy Clifford and broadcast live on 2fm.”

Sinéad Wylde, Head of RTÉ lyric fm said: “It’s very positive for the team at RTÉ lyric fm to see sustained growth and stability in our daytime programming. We are delighted to welcome our 22,000 additional listeners over the last year right across the weekly schedule: 6,000 on Niall Carroll’s Classical Daytime and 8,000 new listeners coming to Lorcan Murray’s Classic Drive. Marty in the Morning continues to attract 56,000 who start their day in the Marty Whelan way. Listeners continue to come to RTÉ lyric fm as a place to unwind from their busy lives and experience the unifying power of music on RTÉ lyric ‘Where Life Sounds Better’.”

Further reading:

Irish Times

Learning Waves

Radiocentre Ireland

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