Blog Commercial radio listener share overtakes BBC - RAJAR Q2 is here!

Commercial radio listener share overtakes BBC - RAJAR Q2 is here!

We take a look at RAJAR’s latest numbers and why it’s important for brands to tailor ads for different radio audiences

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RAJAR has released its listening figures for Q2 2022! Let’s dive into the world of UK radio listening in this year's second report.

The big news for radio advertisers is that commercial radio’s combined market share has overtaken the BBC’s share for the first time since Q2 1999, now at 49% compared to the BBC’s 48.1%.

Almost 50 million people, or 88% of the adult UK population tuned in to radio weekly, listening for a total 998 million hours.

Of course Global and Bauer still dominate the commercial market, with Global posting its highest ever hours and share.

Digital listening has shown itself to be a huge part of the audience’s day representing 68% of all radio listening, with smart speaker usage rising again, amounting to 16% of all digital listening.

But with so many options available in the audio media mix, how can brands make sure they are talking to listeners with empathy and in context?

Kathleen Moroney, Executive Creative Director says it’s all about tailoring.

“At Red Apple Creative we like to think about who the audience is and their possible state of mind when listening.

For example, the Classic FM audience, who have just finished listening to Debussy’s Clair De Lune will receive an ad completely differently compared to listeners who have just been played Drake’s latest track on Kiss.

Then the data available on digital streaming platforms like Spotify gives advertisers even more insight into what the listener is up to at the exact moment they hear an ad. They could be listening to a workout playlist or a chill and relax playlist or a funny podcast - each physically and emotionally in a different place.

Finally, we have the consideration of device. Smart speakers might be playing out to a family enjoying time together in the home, whereas mobile is great for messaging on the go or for immersive storytelling.

To play all these listener groups and profiles the same audio ad will ultimately reduce the effectiveness of the campaign, so to take advantage of these fantastic figures, it makes sense to tailor your creative accordingly, especially with the relatively low cost of audio production.”

Find out how your brand can talk to audiences in the right way. Get in touch at

Data source: RAJAR/Ipsos MORI/RSMB


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