The first post COVID Rajar ratings are out! And they make interesting reading for PR professionals!

Rajar (Radio Joint Audience Research) is the body in charge of measuring radio audiences in the UK. Rajar ratings are a big deal in radio. They are the measurement by which the radio industry and its employees are measured, and often judged!

This week Rajar has finally released its latest data sets, the first since the pandemic started in early 2020….and it’s good news.

Over the past 20 months, across virtual meetings and virtual workshops I’ve regularly been asked, “so how do you think radio has done during the pandemic?

Today’s Rajar results mean that finally, I can answer that question based on more than gut instinct and experience!

New National stations such as Times and Boom, both relatively new stations, whose careful targeting of an age profile, high disposable incomes with a highly engaged demographic - has resulted in a weekly reach of 637k and 233k respectively. This makes them a strong option for those wanting to reach listeners with real spending power.

Across all of its brands, LBC now reaches over 3m people. Local BBC services, championed for providing companionship to many during the lockdowns, have gained 1.4m new listeners over the past 18 months by focusing on its core purpose: providing trusted information, companionship, and entertainment.

There have been some great successes across The BBC’s regional channels but BBC Radio London going from 399k weekly listeners to 978k weekly listeners certainly stands out!

The reach of radio remains remarkable, 90% of the UK population; over 15 years of age, listen to radio every week.

Radio’s adaptability to serve its audience means that it has evolved and grown since the start of the COVID pandemic. There is in-built flexibility structured into how radio puts its programming schedule together. This has meant that it was able to quickly pivot its programming content when it was needed.

The inherent portability of radio has been increased even further via Apps such as BBC Sounds.

For savvy brands, radio continues to be a great medium to help them influence the behaviour of their audiences.

Article written by Howard Kosky, CEO and founder, markettiers.