RAJAR: BBC Asian Network reaches new high

RAJAR -BBC Asian Network or Sunrise Radio
RAJAR -BBC Asian Network or Sunrise Radio

The BBC Asian Network’s resurgence continued after latest radio listening figures released today showed a huge jump in its audience.

The official radio audience measuring body, RAJAR, today published listening figures for all Asian radio stations for Q1/2012 (period ending April 2012). The BBC Asian Network touched an all-time high weekly reach of 540,000, an increase of 68,000 new listeners to the station. However, listening number of hours had dropped from 7.3 hours to 5.9 this quarter.

This will be welcoming news for the station, which had been under pressure from the corporation and the BBC Trust to improve its output. In 2010, plans were drawn up to close the BBC Asian Network due to poor listening figures and a lack of direction for the station. Incidentally, yesterday, the BBC Trust had published findings from extensive research it carried out over a number of months. The station will now be more specific and run by a smaller team to save budgets.

During the January and April period of when the latest audience data was sampled, renowned name Sonia Deol had left the Asian Network and the station had carried out promotional activities for popular segments including classic BBC Asian elements on the digital Red Button facility and also Madhuri Dixit’s exclusive ‘In Conversation With…’.

It remains to be seen how the BBC Asian Network retains its huge audience in the coming months.

Overview of BBC Asian Network National
This time last year: 500,000
As it stands now: 540,000
Difference: +40,000

Sunrise Radio National has fallen somewhat these past four months. Its listenership had dwindled from 490,000 last quarter to a weekly reach of 457,000 in this quarter questioned. Number of hours listening tuning into the station had also fallen from 7.1 hours to 6.1 hours.

Further bad news for the station was that Sunrise Radio National was down by 12,000 listeners year-on-year.

Overview of Sunrise Radio National
This time last year: 469,000
As it stands now: 457,000
Difference: -12,000

Sunrise Radio has not had a good quarter this time around. Nationally, it was down and now official data shows that locally, Sunrise Radio had a battering losing a huge 47,000 listeners in the period. Its weekly reach fell from 332,000 to a new low of 285,000. Listeners were tuning in for a shorter period too from 8.3 hours per day to 6.9 hours.

Overview of Sunrise Radio Greater London
This time last year: 336,000
As it stands now: 285,000
Difference: -51,000

Kismat Radio has bounced back and crossed the 100,000 weekly reach mark again. The station has increased from 69,000 to a new weekly reach of 105,000. Its listening hours have however fallen from 7.7 hours on average to 4.6 hours per day.

Overview of Kismat Radio
This time last year: 108,000
As it stands now: 105,000
Difference: -3,000

The Litt Corporation’s youth music station, Buzz Asia is sailing out of troubled waters after a second increase in audience over six months. Even though the increase is only marginal, it will be good news for the corporation who hasn’t had such a good quarter. Buzz Asia has increased from 108,000 in Q4/2011 to a weekly reach of 119,000. Its listening hours have gone up too from 4.4 hours to 5.3 hours on average per day. Over the past two quarters, Buzz Asia has increased its audience by 18,000 listeners.

Overview of Buzz Asia
This time last year: 111,000
As it stands now: 119,000
Difference: +8,000

Other UK based commercial Asian radio stations such as Radio XL in Birmingham, Sabras Radio in Leicester and Asian Sound in Manchester do not subscribe to RAJAR.

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