UK: In the latest RAJAR figures released today, Wireless Group stations are continuing to make their mark with particularly strong growth at Virgin Radio. Wireless Group has grown its overall audience this quarter to 4.6m adults, outperforming the UK Radio market, which was down by 0.4%.
Virgin Radio continues to break records, hitting its highest ever audience since re-launching in March 2016, with reach increasing 46% to 483,000 and hours listened hitting 1.4 million – a 38% increase. Listeners old and new have responded positively to the new music policy, marketing campaigns and image overhaul implemented by Group Content Director – Music, Francis Currie, last year.
Over at talkRADIO listeners are tuning in for longer, with hours almost doubling compared to the previous year. This follows similar growth in the last quarter, an indication of increased engagement with the station and its presenters. To kick off 2018 talkRADIO has shaken up its schedule with legendary TV and radio broadcaster Eamonn Holmes taking the up the drivetime reins and Julia Harley-Brewer moving to the breakfast slot with her no-nonsense approach to the biggest stories of the day.
talkSPORT and talkSPORT2 combined command an audience of over 3 million listeners with Saturday afternoon (1-7:30pm) combined listening reaching 885,000, up 9% on the previous quarter. Both stations have had a good start to 2018 following a footballing and darts feast over the festive period. The stations successfully won the exclusive radio rights to four major boxing events including the much-anticipated Joshua V Parker fight, with Vinnie Jones announced yesterday as the latest addition to Alan Brazil’s Monday breakfast show. Heading towards this summer’s World Cup as official broadcaster the stations remain the home of the fan.
Commenting on the latest figures, Scott Taunton, Wireless Group’s CEO, said: “We are very pleased with this superb set of figures for Virgin Radio, another record breaking set of numbers and the second quarter in a row that it has delivered growth in reach and hours listened.
‘talkRADIO continues to attract listeners for longer and the new line-up has injected great energy and fuelled debate since the start of the year. With some great new additions such as Eamonn at drivetime, Gogglebox’s Steph & Dom at weekends and Iain Lee back from his successful trip to the jungle I’ve no doubt that the station will continue to go from strength to strength.
‘For talkSPORT and talkSPORT2 we have a busy few months ahead putting the finishing touches to our World Cup plans, alongside exclusive boxing rights to the biggest fights and live football from across the Premier League, FA Cup and EFL”.