- a knowledge base for media professionals
The Numbers
Search / Email Story / Print Page /

Pop-up Culture Serves Media Well

There are few proven rules to winning ratings battles other than being on is far better than being off. Sometimes new brands attract fans. Most of the time, well-known brands fix better into daily routines. Since no broadcaster really knows one day to the next what audiences will do with their media time the spaghetti rule applies. Itís easier than watching the pot.

pop-up boomboxUK radio audience estimates for the fourth quarter 2017, mid-September through mid-December, reflected, certainly, the recent rage of pop-up digital channels from commercial broadcasters. Joint industry measurement service RAJAR releases national and London radio listening survey data four times each year. Overall national listening reach was up very slightly.

BBC channels, on aggregate, were lower in national listening share, 52.8% from 53.5% year on year. National and local channels down slightly to 45.5% and 7.3%, respectively. Commercial radio channels, taken altogether, bumped up to 44.2% listening share from 43.9%. The listening share for national commercial channels continues to rise against local commercial stations; national channels up to 17.1% listening share from 15.7%, local stations down to 27.1% from 28.2%. The listening share gap between BBC and commercial radio is 8.6% in favor of the BBC, slightly less than the same quarter a year earlier.

National rankings by listening share have changed a bit year on year, certainly among the top ten, excluding the top two, what are as they’ve been for years BBC Radio 2 and Radio 4, respectively. The more entertainment oriented Radio 2 is up rather significantly to 18.3% listening share from 17.3%. Conversely, more news and talk oriented Radio 4 is lower at 11.8% listening from 12.7%. There’s only so much Brexit news a sane person can listen to, particularly with holidays approaching.

BBC Radio 1, the endlessly maligned youth-oriented channel, moved up to 3rd place, 5.9% listening share from 5.6% one year on. The Heart national commercial network dropped back to 4th place, 5.6% listening share down from 6.2%. The Capital commercial network held 5th spot, posting a slightly lower listening share, 3.9% from 4.1%.

Classic FM, one of the real national commercial channels, rose rather handily to 6th in the national listings from 8th year on year; 3.8% listening share from 3.4%. The Smooth national commercial network dropped to 7th, 3.6% listening share from 3.9%. The BBC’s all-sports/talk channel dropped to 3.4% listening share and 8th place from 3.6%. Dance music channel Kiss held 9th, up slightly to 3.2% listening share. All-digital alternative music BBC 6Music held 10th spot at 2.1% listening share. (See UK National Radio Audience Estimates trend chart here - in Resources)

Digital listening continues to grow. Listening to all digital platforms has almost reached a significant threshold; 49.9% of all listening now digital, 36.6% to DAB platforms and 8.5% online and mobile. Digital output is certainly driving the long-heralded shift. Nearly all significant radio brands, BBC and commercial, have digital brand extensions. Unlike analogue FM or AM/MW channels that must have regulatory approvals, DAB and online channels just appear, shift and, yes, disappear. In the last year or so, Heart Extra, Heart 80s and Magic Soul have appeared… or popped-up.


See also in ftmKnowledge

Public Broadcasting - Arguments, Battles and Changes

Public broadcasters have - mostly - thrown off the musty stain of State broadcasting. And audiences for public channels are growing. But arguments and battles with politicians, publishers and commercial broadcasters threatens more changes. The ftm Knowledge file examines all sides. 168 pages PDF (March 2014)

Order here

Europe’s Radio – Northern Europe

Northern Europe’s radio has a very digital sound. And change is in the air. Economic challenges abound for both public and commercial broadcasters. The ftm Knowledge file reports on Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and the UK. 144 pages PDF includes Resources (November 2012)

Order here

ftm resources

related ftm articles

Buoyancy, Weight And Floating In The Digital Seas
Pity the poor media buyer. With audience estimates for various segments appearing minute by minute there is no time to reflect. Fortunately, algorithms do all the heavy lifting now. When the numbers change very little it is an opportunity to consider a leisurely cruise and dance with the robot.

Attention Is The Most Important Product
The digital tipping point has certainly arrived. Platforms are convenient and well in hand, literally and figuratively. While choices remain very traditional new offerings get a hearing, so to speak, from those looking for something new. And, as usual, people are paying attention. They always have.

Young People Shake It Off, Broadcasters Persist
Broadcasters have long counted on young people for energy, boundless curiosity and a weld to the future. Old people are set in their ways and, today, that means so very last century. Adapting to the "shake it off" set transfixed on smartphones is now elemental, surprisingly simple and a great comfort to those adept. Mass audiences are, some say, a thing of the past. Still those who count are still counting.


ftm Knowledge

Media in Spain - Diverse and Challenged – new

Media in Spain is steeped in tradition. yet challenged by diversity. Publishers hold great influence, broadcasters competing. New media has been slow to rise and business models for all are under stress. Rich in language and culture, Spain's media is reaching into the future and finding more than expected. 123 pages, PDF. January 2018

Order here

The Campaign Is On - Elections and Media

Elections campaigns are big media events. Candidates and issues are presented, analyzed and criticized in broadcast and print. Media is now more of a participant in elections than ever. This ftm Knowledge file reports on news coverage, advertising, endorsements and their effect on democracy at work. 84 pages. PDF (September 2017)

Order here

Fake News, Hate Speech and Propaganda

The institutional threat of fake news, hate speech and propaganda is testing the mettle of those who toil in news media. Those three related evils are not new, by any means, but taken together have put the truth and those reporting it on the back foot. Words matter. This ftm Knowledge file explores that light. 48 pages, PDF (March 2017)

Order here

More ftm Knowledge files here

Become an ftm Individual or Corporate Member to order Knowledge Files at no charge. JOIN HERE!

copyright ©2004-2018 ftm partners, unless otherwise noted Contact UsSponsor ftm