The latest edition of the JNLR for 2015 Q1 reveals, yet again, that radio is in a healthy position. Every day just over 3m people tune in to one or more radio station or 84% of the population. This is up some 1% on the previous year (2014 Q1) by some 37,000 listeners over the year but it’s up only marginally (3,000 listeners) on the previous book (2014Q4)

While the underlying fortunes of individual stations have varied, the overall radion listenership has remained fairly static, deviating only between a reach of 85% and 83% since 2010. 

Table : National Reach
  Year On Year   Book on Book
Station 15Q1 14Q1 +/- +/-   14Q4   +/- +/-
Any Radio 3009 84% 2969 83% 40 1%   3006 84% 3 0%
Any National 1670 46% 1618 45% 52 3%   1642 46% 28 2%
Any RTE Radio 1241 35% 1217 34% 24 2%   1214 34% 27 2%
Any RTE1/2FM/Lyric 1217 34% 1199 33% 18 2%   1193 33% 24 2%
RTE Radio 1 843 23% 845 24% -2 0%   836 23% 7 1%
RTE 2FM 400 11% 376 10% 24 6%   375 10% 25 7%
RTE Lyric FM 138 4% 128 4% 10 8%   137 4% 1 1%
Today FM 476 13% 442 12% 34 8%   460 13% 16 3%
Newstalk 404 11% 334 9% 70 21%   392 11% 12 3%
Region/Local/M-City 2078 58% 2034 57% 44 2%   2102 58% -24 -1%
Home Local Station 1515 42% 1491 42% 24 2%   1534 43% -19 -1%
Regional/Local 272 8% 261 7% 11 4%   278 8% -6 -2%

The survey is interesting this time out in that all the national stations enjoyed varying levels of success. By far the biggest recipient of the ‘joy’ was Newstalk recording a 21% increase in listener’s year on year bringing them finally over the 400 mark to 404,000 listeners every day. All programme slots did well year on year which is a great indication for the station that all cylinders are firing!  

Stablemate Today FM enjoyed success as well by adding a fairly decent 34,000 listeners or 8% to their daily reach (half of which came in book on book) over the year. Like with all these surveys, it will be some time before we begin to see how the departure of Ray and elevation of Anton shows in the numbers.    

2FM shared in the spoils adding a much needed 24,000 to bring it too over the 400k mark, a rise of 6% (+24,000). There was a point where the knives seemed to be out for the station (#shuffles) with their indecision and lengthy process of deciding the new station format.

But maybe the tide has really changed for 2FM because 23,000 listeners were added book on book – their biggest book on book increase since 2009. The concern would be, not unlike other stations, the advances are around one or two individuals and that’s hardly sustainable or wise. Some succession planning (and training) might be required. 

Graphic : National Reach

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Just so as to smooth out the speed bumps that appear in the year on year analysis, below is a table of the last seven books by quarter. Between the numerical data and the graphical data here you’ll get a fairly good picture of the underlying trend for any station.     

Table : Per Quarter
  15Q1 14Q4 14Q3 14Q2 14Q1 13Q4 13Q3
Any Radio 3009 83% 3006 84% 2986 83% 2982 83% 2969 83% 2972 83% 2995 83%
Any RTE Radio 1241 34% 1214 46% 1212 34% 1216 34% 1217 34% 1232 34% 1231 34%
Any RTE1/2FM/Lyric 1217 33% 1193 43% 1191 33% 1195 33% 1199 33% 1214 34% 1211 34%
RTE Radio 1 843 24% 836 34% 837 23% 849 24% 845 24% 849 24% 861 24%
RTE Lyric FM 138 4% 137 23% 142 4% 138 4% 128 4% 127 4% 120 3%
Today FM 476 13% 460 13% 463 13% 458 13% 442 12% 461 13% 457 13%
Newstalk 404 10% 392 11% 376 10% 365 10% 334 9% 315 9% 294 8%
Region/Local/M-City 2078 57% 2102 10% 2066 58% 2054 57% 2034 57% 2023 56% 2061 57%
Home Local Station 1515 42% 1534 8% 1501 42% 1497 42% 1491 42% 1488 41% 1523 42%
Regional/Local 272 7% 278 4% 272 8% 266 7% 261 7% 264 7% 269 7%

Shares 

In terms of the station shares there are really only two agenda items: RTE1 lost two points over the twelve months and Newstalk added one point over the same period:

Table : Station Shares
Station 15Q1 14Q1 +/-
Any Radio 100.00% 100.00% 0.00%
Any National 46.20% 47.20% -1.00%
Any RTE Radio 31.00% 32.50% -1.50%
Any RTE1/2FM/Lyric 30.30% 31.90% -1.60%
RTE Radio 1 21.10% 23.10% -2.00%
RTE 2FM 7.10% 7.10% 0.00%
RTE Lyric FM 2.00% 1.70% 0.30%
Today FM 8.60% 9.00% -0.40%
Newstalk 6.60% 5.60% 1.00%
Any Region/Local/M-City 53.80% 52.80% 1.00%
Home Local Station 38.90% 39.00% -0.10%
Other Regional/Local Station 4.70% 4.60% 0.10%

You can see graphically below the shares over time and how fairly consistent they are – the only one making any change in trajectory seem to be Newstalk.  

Graphic : Station Shares

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Finally, the day parts for each National station. The programme make-up of these day-parts are looked at in detail elsewhere so there’s no need to say too much at this point.   

Graphic : Day Parts

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