The last quarter of 2008 witnessed a significant drop in listeners amongst all the Asian radio stations that subscribe to RAJAR.

National

Sunrise Radio continued its lead in the market as the UK’s most listened to Asian radio station, according to data published today by audience measuring body, RAJAR.

However, the Avtar Litt owned station has shed 20,000 listeners since its last figures were reported. Its current weekly reach stands at 469,000 – down from 489,000 in quarter three of 2008.

In a blow to the BBC Asian Network, the station has had yet another fall in its audience – that’s the third quarter in a row. From 419,000 in quarter three, to 379,000 currently.

In terms of listening share in the surveyed area, Sunrise Radio remains unchanged at 0.3%. Number of hours listening into the station has gone up by a notch from 5.8 hours to 5.9 hours. The BBC Asian Network’s listening share has also dropped 0.3% in quarter three to 0.2%. Listeners tuning into the station for a longer period of time has been affected too from 6.7 hours previously to 5.3 hours.

When data is compared over a six month period – Sunrise Radio has lost 33,000 listeners. In comparison, nearly 100,000 (94,000) listeners have deserted the BBC Asian Network. So what could possibly going against the Asian Network? Programming? Positioning?

These figures don۪t include the recent schedule changes where Adil Ray and Jas Rao switched slots. These will feature in the next round of results.

Local

In Greater London, Sunrise Radio’s listeners downfall continued from 345,000 in quarter three to just 309,000 as it stands today from results in quarter four of 2008. Listening share amongst stations other Asian stations in London remains at 0.8%. Listeners tuning in to the station has fallen from 6.1 hours to 5.6 hours.

Its sister station, Kismat Radio, known for speech orientated programming has also witnessed a decline in listeners. In quarter three, Kismat Radio had gained 6,000 listeners, however this time around it has lost 9,000 listeners taking its weekly reach to 67,000. Whilst Kismat Radio’s share in the market has dropped slightly from 0.3% to 0.2%, number of hours listeners have tuned into the station have gone up by a little from 7 hours to 7.1 hours.

The Litt Corporation’s Punjabi station simply titled Punjabi Radio was the only really ‘big’ gainer! The digital-only station has added 10,000 new listeners, taking its reach to 35,000. This is the second such rise for the relatively new station. In the last six month, Punjabi Radio has seen 17,000 new listeners tuning in. Further good news for the station is that listeners are tuning into Punjabi Radio for longer from the previous 4.3 hours per week to 6.2 hours as it stands today.

Club Asia’s loss of listeners continues. From 184,000 in quarter three of 2008, Club Asia now stands with a weekly reach of 172,000 listeners. This is the second consecutive drop for Club Asia. Over a six-month period, the self claimed “number 1 station for London” has lost 26,000 listeners.

New from this quarter will see the figures reported for the long-established, Panjab Radio. The digital-only station, which broadcasts in London, West Midlands and West Yorkshire holds a weekly reach of 49,000, with a listening share of 0.1% and listeners tuning into the station for longer – average at around 5.3 hours per week.

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