NEWS4 August 2023

Commercial radio audience reaches all-time high

Media News UK

UK – Commercial radio in the UK had its highest audience ever of 39.2 million listeners in the second quarter of 2023, according to data from commercial radio industry body Rajar.


The figures show that commercial radio’s share of listening rose from 49% to 54.5% and that the overall listener numbers were an 8% increase on the same three-month period in 2022.

Commercial radio now has 7.5 million listeners more than the BBC, up from 3.3 million in the second quarter of 2022, while the combined weekly audience for all BBC and commercial radio in the UK was 49.5 million people, which is 88% of the adult population.

Listening for all radio on smart speakers remained strong at 14.4% of the total radio audience, up from 10.8% in the second quarter of 2022, and 17.4% of the commercial radio audience, up from 12.7% in the same period last year.

For all radio combined, digital listening is 69%, and of this, DAB radio is 40.3% – down from 40.8% in the second quarter of 2022 – while overall online listening is 24.9%, up from 22.3% in the same period last year.

Lucy Barrett, client director at Radiocentre, said: “These numbers show that commercial radio is giving audiences exactly what they want to hear.

“The surge in commercial radio listening is also really good news for advertisers. The growth in online listening once again reminds us just how important the support for radio in the Media Bill is for the future of our sector.”