Youth radio in decline nationally, figures suggest

Rickie Williams, Charlie Hedges and Melvin OdoomImage copyright
Bauer Media

Image caption

Rickie Williams, Charlie Hedges and Melvin Odoom co-host Kiss FM’s breakfast show

Most UK radio stations aimed at a young audience have seen their listeners fall, Rajar figures suggest.

Radio 1’s audience fell by 3.2% in the last three months of 2016 compared with the previous quarter, while Radio 1Xtra fell 11.4% over the same period.

Capital saw its listenership drop by 3.1%, while the Kiss network saw its share fall by 3.5%,

Yet Kiss still has reason to be happy, as its breakfast show is now London’s most popular commercial breakfast show.

The audience research body’s figures also show Radio 4’s Today programme recorded its highest ever audience.

The BBC station’s flagship show went from 7 million weekly listeners in the last quarter of 2015 to 7.4 million in the last three months of 2016.

“In an era of fake news, echo chambers and significant shifts in global politics, the role of Radio 4’s Today as the trusted guide to the world around us is more important than ever,” said Bob Shennan, director of BBC radio and music.

Radio 3’s breakfast show also did well, with an audience of 647,000 in the last quarter of 2016 signalling a 20% rise on the same period in 2015.


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