With overall youth radio listening figures in decline, even the big hitters are feeling the heat: Nick Grimshaw’s show has recorded the lowest listening figures for a BBC Radio 1 breakfast show since RAJAR records began in 1992.
From July to September, the show recorded 4.93 million weekly listeners, down from 5.5 million in the previous quarter, but controller Ben Cooper has defended the stats, calling it “the most relevant youth brand in the UK today”.
A source at Radio 1, speaking to the BBC, pointed to the station’s social channels: Radio 1 has 9.4 million subscribers across social media, and an additional 5 million on Youtube.
“Grimmy is the number one breakfast show in the UK for young audiences and that’s all they really care about”, they said. “Teens are addicted to their phones so you can see why Radio 1 does so well on YouTube and Facebook.”
There was, however, growth across other stations. Roman Kemp’s Capital London breakfast show increased its audience by 33,000 in the third quarter, up to 1.1 million, while Chris Moyles’ show on Radio X pulled in a further 77,000, up to 823,000.
BBC saw growth in Radio 2, with Ken Bruce achieving a record weekly reach of 8.7 million, up from 8.3 million in the second quarter, and Chris Evans’ BBC Radio 2 breakfast show attracted 9.35 million listeners a week in the third quarter of this year, up from 9.01 million in the second quarter.