Radio 1 loses almost 1 million listeners as BBC Radio 4 reaches record ratings high

The Today programme on Radio 4 pulled in record audiences year on year, while Radio 1 reached its lowest listenership in a decade


BBC Radio 1 has lost almost a million listeners in 12 months according to latest audience figures.


Figures released by ratings agency Rajar revealed that the number of people tuning into the flagship station had decreased from around 10.4 million in April-June 2015 to 9.5 million during the same time period this year.

It marks a 10-year low for the BBC station, who said that the figures only revealed “part of the picture” according to BBC News.

In June, Radio 1 controller Ben Cooper wrote in a column for Radio Times that radio had to adapt to young audiences or facing extinction.

“While hours spent listening are dropping, time spent with Radio 1 is growing in new ways,” he claimed. “We have become the biggest radio station in the world on YouTube, with more than 3.1 million subscribers and an average of 1.3 million views a day.”

He added, “If we don’t adapt, we will die.”

There was better news for BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 6 Music and BBC Asian Network, though, with all three stations recording their highest ever weekly audiences. And The Today programme racked up a record 7.35 million weekly listeners, up from 6.68 million last year.

“BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 6 Music and the Asian Network are brilliant and unique,” said Director of BBC Radio Helen Boaden. “It’s fantastic that audiences across the country are finding these stations in record numbers to enjoy as part of their daily lives.”

A total of 48.7 million people each week tune in to UK radio overall, according to Rajar figures.


“The overall radio industry in the UK is in incredibly rude health,” Boaden said. “I’m delighted that in today’s digital world, audiences continue to appreciate the power of radio – its ability to provide daily companionship and entertainment, to share stories and to find and curate the best music with such a deep understanding of different audiences across the UK. Radio is a vital part of the UK’s media ecology and we should all celebrate that.”