RAJAR Q2 2022

The RAJAR results for Q2 2022 are in and it’s amazing news for advertisers because, for the first time in 23 years, Commercial Radio has surpassed the BBC in both reach and share.

Commercial Radio’s share is now at 49% (up from 48.4% last quarter) compared to the BBC’s 48.1%. Commercial Radio’s lead in reach is now 3.7 million – the highest ever.

The latest figures were released at midnight and the Radio Experts team has been pouring over the data to bring you the highlights.

National Stations and Networks

The Hits Radio Network has really delivered a punch this quarter by adding 452,000 listeners to its weekly reach. That’s an impressive 8% increase to 6.25 million, overtaking the Capital Network in weekly reach. Total listening hours on the network are up 9% since Q1.

UK listeners are still in love with Heart – it’s still the highest reaching brand with 7.8 million weekly listeners across the main network. In addition, the Heart Network breakfast show is still the biggest nationwide, maintaining its position against the next biggest – Capital Network breakfast, at 2.5 million.

The Capital Network has increased average listening hours quarter on quarter – up 1.4% to 27.8 million. Its sister station, Capital Xtra, has seen more significant growth with a 5% increase in weekly reach compared to Q2, up to 1.4 million, whereas the Capital Xtra Brand (which also includes Capital Xtra Reloaded) is up 7% to 1.6 million weekly listeners, compared to the last quarter.

It’s a solid gold performance from The Gold Network which has continued to grow, building on what was already a record set of results last quarter. It has 137,000 more listeners – up 9% to a weekly reach of 1.6 million. Average listening hours have also increased, giving the network a 13% rise in total hours to 12.8 million.

The Kiss Network landed a smacker on the lips with a 2% growth in listening hours, which means that the Kiss Network has grown its market share to 2%. Within the network Kisstory saw a small drop in reach but is still listened to by over 2.1m people each week. Kiss Fresh has performed well too, now reaching over 300,000 listeners every week.

Digital Listening and Digital Only Stations

Digital radio’s overall share of listening is now 67.6%, with DAB accounting for 40.8%, Streaming 22.3% and DTV 4.5%.

Listening on smart speakers now accounts for more than 10% of all radio listening in the UK and has grown from 9.9% since Q1 2022. 53% of the UK use smart speakers to listen to radio weekly and 22% use it to listen to radio every day.

In terms of individual stations, the decades have had an impressive quarter with almost every decade spin-off station growing in hours and or reach in Q2 vs Q1.

A special mention goes to Heart 70s for growing its total hours by 46.7% and increasing reach by 31.3% to 575,000. Absolute Radio 10’s saw another set of positive results on the back of a good Q1, increasing hours by 139% and gaining 93.8% more listeners this quarter, now reaching 62,000.

Heart 90’s is still holding its own and continuing its trajectory with 80,000 new listeners quarter on quarter, weekly reach is now up to 874,000.  Meanwhile Heart Dance still has rhythm, enjoying significant growth by adding 14% to its listener base at just under 100,000 this quarter.

The Magic brand digital spin-off stations – Magic Soul, Magic Chilled and Mellow Magic all grew their reach, quarter on quarter. Magic Soul reach is up 24.3% to 456,000 and hours are up by 30.6%. Magic Chilled increased reach by 16% to 376,000 listeners and Mellow Magic now reaches 522,000 listeners every week, up 13.5% quarter on quarter.

It’s boom time at Boom Radio with another positive result for Q2. The station’s hours have gone from 2,698,000 to 3,168,000 – up 17.4% and reach now sits at 336,000 listeners – up 15.9% on the last quarter.

This is the second RAJAR survey for GB News which has grown its audience with a further increase in reach and total hours. Reach is up 9.8% from 239,000 to 277,000 weekly listeners and hours are also up 15.9% to 1.6 million compared to Q1 2022.


In the big smoke, Heart London remains the station with the highest reach at 1.6 million and also managed to increase its listening hours by 3% this quarter.

Behind Heart, the next two music stations, ranked by reach, are Magic London and Capital London. Magic London increased reach by 2% to 1.36 million, whilst Capital increased total listening hours by 2%, quarter on quarter.

Recent developments in politics have ensured LBC London still has the highest share of listening, with average listening hours at over 11 per week.

Kiss London now has close to a million listeners – it’s reach was up 5% quarter on quarter to 955,000 and hours went up by 9% as well.

Greatest Hits London put in a good result this quarter, with total hours increasing by an impressive 29%.

In the battle for the attention of Londoners at breakfast, LBC London is still the winner, having the highest reach, but across the music stations, Capital London increased audience to 630,000 and is now much closer to Heart London which is now at 647,000.

 Top 5 London Stations ranked by weekly reach (000s)

  1. Heart London 1593
  2. LBC London 1425
  3. Magic London 1359
  4. Capital London 1351
  5. Kiss London 955

Brands by region


In the regions, Capital Liverpool increased its weekly reach this quarter, by 17% from 145,000 to 170,000, and its total listening hours by a whopping 63% from 749,000 to 1,218,000. The listeners in Liverpool are also tuning in for longer with the average hours increasing from 5.2 to 7.2 each week.

The star of the quarter though is Capital Mid Counties, having increased its weekly reach by 12% this quarter (113,000 to 126,000) as well as its total hours by 52% from 560,000 to 851,000. The listeners are clearly tuning in for longer with an increase in average hours from 4.9 to 6.8.


There’s a big story for the Heart brand in Wales, as Heart North Wales more than doubled its average listening hours from 4.3 to 9.1 average hours – that’s a 122% increase quarter on quarter, which means the stations total hours have grown dramatically by 95%.

Meanwhile, in the home counties, Heart Hertfordshire had a strong quarter with a 37% increase in weekly reach quarter on quarter, now reaching 59,000 listeners.


Londoners seem to love a Smooth breakfast – Smooth London’s breakfast show is up by around 55,000 listeners compared to Q1 2022. The station’s weekly reach is now 770,000 – an increase of 10% on the last quarter.

Smooth Radio Scotland has also seen an increase in weekly reach by 24,000 to 362,000, maintaining its position as the third most popular station in Scotland.

Over in East Anglia, Smooth has increased its audience by 3% to 69,000, and with substantially longer average listening hours, has reported a 46% rise in total hours. Likewise, in Sussex the brand has increased its reach by almost 4% quarter on quarter to 81,000 and increased total hours by 18%, and Smooth Radio Essex has an impressive 57% more hours in total this quarter.


Regionally, the Hits Network’s two Glasgow stations, Clyde 1 and Clyde 2 had an amazing RAJAR quarter. Clyde 1 grew by 6.7% quarter on quarter to a reach of 640,000, whilst stablemate Clyde 2, grew by 41% to a weekly reach of 168,000. Between them the Clyde stations have a 20% share of listening in the Glasgow area.

Over in the East of Scotland, Bauer’s Edinburgh stations went even further, Forth 1 grew reach by 8% and Forth 2’s reach grew by 76%, compared to the last quarter.

In the Northeast, both TFM and Metro both increased audience with Metro increasing hours by 11% whilst TFM more than doubled its listening hours.

On the other side of the country, Hits Radio Manchester grew both reach and share by 4% and 11% respectively, whilst Radio City also grew both reach by 5% and hours by 18%.

In the Midlands, all four of the Free Radio stations showed increases in reach. Free Radio West Midlands now reaches 339,000, up from 321,000 last quarter. In the East Midlands, Gem saw a very solid 13.4% growth in hours.

Over on the South Coast, Wave 105 posted some exceptional results by growing reach by 23% to 250,000 per week and hours by a whopping 43%. Wave 105 listeners now tune in on average for an impressive 12.2 hours per week each.

Greatest Hits Network

The Greatest Hits Radio Network of stations had a solid quarter, with 4 million listeners tuning in every week. Those stations in the network that performed particularly well include Greatest Hits Radio Lancashire and Greatest Hits Radio (Surrey & East Hampshire) – both more than doubled their listening hours compared to last quarter.

Greatest Hits West Midlands increased its listening hours by 11.7%, bringing the station’s overall share to 2.8% (up from 2.5% in Q1).

The East Anglia region didn’t disappoint either, with Greatest Hits Radio Norwich increasing listening hours by 45.8% and reach by 55.3%. The station now has 59,000 listeners each week.

Meanwhile, Greatest Hits Radio Ipswich followed the successful East Anglia trend with a huge 78% increase in listening hours and a 12.5% reach increase to 27,000. This station now has a 4.5% share (up from 2.6% in Q1).

Gold & Radio X regional stations

Locally, Gold has performed very strongly this quarter with Gold Cambridgeshire, East Midlands and London all reporting an increase in reach compared to Q1 2022.

Gold East Midlands and Gold London are the stars of the show, with both stations reporting an increase in reach and hours this quarter. The East Midlands reach has grown by 5.4% to 137,000, while its total hours have increased by 8.5%. Gold London has also reported a spike of 5.3% and 11.2% in its reach and total hours respectively, now reaching 380,000 listeners weekly. Additionally, Gold Cambridgeshire’s reach has grown an impressive 11.6% from last quarter to 48,000, while Gold Manchester has reported a 4.0% increase in total hours quarter on quarter.

Whilst Radio X London’s total listening hours may have dropped, its reach has increased by a strong 6.2% compared to the previous quarter.


Q2 has brought us another solid set of figures for commercial radio, against the backdrop of a demise in BBC Radio listening. It’s a key moment in the history of UK Commercial Radio as it’s now ahead of the BBC in both reach and share. 65% of the UK population now listen to commercial stations every week and with 64% of them listening at home, advertisers have greater opportunities to speak to potential customers in their own environment.

If you’d like to know more about radio and digital audio advertising, please get in touch.

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