The latest Joint National Listenership Research (JNLR) from Ipsos MRBI for the year from July 2016 to June this year shows “a strong book for RTE Radio”, Carat reports. Radio 1 and 2FM posted increases of 30,000 and 32,000 year-on-year respectively for the key measure of listened yesterday. Today FM was down by 17,000, while Newstalk added 9,000.
Carat’s John Clancy says the result means 2FM (376,000) has closed the gap on Newstalk (389,000) and Today FM (393,000) at a national level. Digging deeper, Carat looked at some particular programme performances to see what is driving these trends. Radio 1’s two flagship shows, Morning Ireland and News at 1 were down by 13,000 and 23,000 respectively.
It is the rest of the schedule that drove the overall increase, especially mid-morning with Ryan Tubridy (+15,000) and Seán O’Rourke (+16,000) performing well. The stand-out on 2FM was Breakfast Republic, up 27,000. On Today FM, Ian Dempsey and Dermot and Dave were down by 17,000 and 10,000, but the mid-afternoon slot was up by 13,000.
Clancy says Newstalk is hard to evaluate as there have been many schedule changes, so it will take more time before we have directly comparable data. Initial book-on-book comparisons are encouraging, with Breakfast up 3,000 to 119,000 and Pat Kenny adding 3,000 to 151,000. George Hook, Moncrieff and Drive Time with Chris and Sarah are largely unchanged.
In the Dublin market, it was pretty much ‘as you were’, with 98FM having slightly closed the gap on FM104 in terms of weekly reach, up one point to 20 per cent, while FM104 dropped one point to 29 per cent. Of the Dublin locals, Q102 was a winner, up from 14 per cent to 16 per cent in weekly reach. In trms of market share, 7am to 7pm, Radio 1 leads with 36.4 per cent.
With the exception of Radio 1 (+18,000), all other stations have lost listenership. Looking at key programme results, perhaps the most interesting result sees Q102 breakfast at near parity with Spin 1038 breakfast. Year on year, Q102 added 7,000 to their breakfast show to reach 36,000 listeners daily, with Spin losing 9,000 and dropping to 37,000.
Meanwhile 98FM lost 2,000 for its breakfast show, coming in at 37,000 – it’s neck a neck between the three. Clancy says it will be interesting to see how the battle continues this year. FM104 remains the clear leader of the locals during breakfast with 74,000 tuning in daily. The Dublin afternoon and evening schedules had less changes this time around.
‘Home local’ listenership is covered in the JNLR and represents the county level local stations across the country. At a county by county level, they continue to significantly outperform the nationals. Combined they reach 41 per cent daily in their franchise areas, with Radio 1 a distant second at 24 per cent, showing the power of local radio.
In Cork, 96FM has grown 7am-7pm market share by 1.6 per cent to 20.7 per cent. Red FM managed to hold on to top spot by gaining 2.5 per cent, for a 22 per cent market share. C103 had a tough book, losing 3.4 per cent, all in the last book. It is a big drop in one book, so we need to see does it carry through over time. Galway Bay FM, Limerick FM and WLR, all had tough books losing three points, 5.8 per cent and 2.7 per cent of their 7am-7pm market share.
The latest book shows 82 per cent of Irish adults listen to radio on a daily basis.
Pictured above is Virgin Media’s Paul Farrell with Breakfast Republic’s presenters on 2FM