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The UK’s Most Popular Radio Stations - Q2 2023 update
An update to the bar chart race I created in February showing the top 20 most popular UK radio stations by reach over the past decade, with Q1 & Q2 2023 now included (click/tap on the below image to view animation).
Of note from the last two quarters:
Greatest Hits Radio overtaking Classic FM, Smooth Radio & BBC Radio 5 Live to become the UK’s 5th most popular station (thanks Ken!)
Heart nipping at BBC Radio 4’s heels for the number two spot, trailing by just 450k listeners now Radio 4 has dipped below 9m.
KISSTORY overtaking its parent station, KISS, for the first time.
Hits Radio entering the Top 20 for the first time.
Classic FM dipping below 4.5m listeners for the first time.
BBC Radio 3 dropping to a new low of 1.7m listeners and out of the Top 20 for the first time.
BBC World Service dropping below 1.1m UK listeners for the first time.
talkSPORT reaching 3.2m listeners for the first time in 7 years.
Gold’s quiet accent to 1.8m listeners.
Absolute 80s creeping back into the Top 20.
In summary, a good time for stations playing nostalgic music. A tougher time for classical music stations and speech networks (with the exception of talkSPORT).
It’s easy to see how podcast listening might be negatively impacting the reach of speech networks. Harder to explain the decline for Classic FM and Radio 3. Are music streaming services finally cracking the classical nut?
An update of the weekly listening hours variant (below) paints a similar picture, although Classic FM and BBC Radio 3 are holding up better in terms of hours. It also shows that Greatest Hits Radio has very nearly caught BBC Radio 1 in terms of weekly listening hours (47.2m vs 47.6m).
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