In the latest round of RAJAR results, Sunrise Radio has passed the half a million mark to take the coveted top spot in the UK Asian radio war.

National

In the quarter ending December 2006, the Avtar Lit owned radio station added 26,000 more listeners, taking its total to 505,000. Its share of listening in the competitive market remained unchanged at 0.3%. Sunrise Radio is now also listened to slightly longer than before at 6.8 hours.

BBC rival Asian Network also increased its audience by a margin. In the quarter ending September 2006, the station stood with an audience 481,000, this saw a rise of 12,000 new listeners in the last quarter. It now stands at 493,000. The Asian Network’s market share remains at 0.3% on par with Sunrise Radio. It is listened to longer than Sunrise Radio at 7.5 hours.

A BBC spokesman welcomed today’s figures, “BBC Asian Network is pleased with the steady growth. It is a good indication that the Asian Network’s revamped style, editorial direction and focus on a more youthful audience is heading in the right direction. We hope to maintain this growth going forward.”

These are the second set of results since the BBC Asian Network completed its makeover. The changes were made to slant the station towards a younger audience. The results have shown that the audience is rising at a steady rate.

A year ago, the story was completely different; the Asian Network was reining the top spot with an audience reach of 420,000. Compared to Sunrise Radio’s 412,000. As it stands now, Sunrise Radio has increased its audience by 93,000 listeners since this time last year.

Regional

A new entrant into the latest set of RAJAR figures is London’s popular Club Asia station. It subscribed to RAJAR mid-2006. Today, the station has published figures for the last two periods.

In the period ending December 2006, Club Asia has an audience reach of 206,000 in London alone. Its share of listening in the market stands at 0.7%.

Comparing this data to Sunrise Radio’s London statistics, Sunrise Radio audience has an audience reach of 412,000 and a market share of 1.4%.

There was further good news for Sunrise Radio as its sister station Kismat Radio has nearly doubled its audience since the RAJAR’s were published last. In the quarter ending September 2006, Kismat had an audience reach of 55,000; it now has topped the 105,000 mark for the first time.

Locally, BBC Asian Network, which is available in parts of the Midlands on AM, stood with an audience of 186,000 and a market share of 1.3%.

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