RAJAR: Sunrise Radio & BBC Asian Network

RAJAR: Sunrise Radio & BBC Asian Network
RAJAR: Sunrise Radio & BBC Asian Network

Sunrise Radio’s recent switch to 963AM and 972AM in Greater London has delivered the two frequencies the biggest ever audience for an Asian radio station, according to official data released by RAJAR for Q2 of 2014.

The broadcasting giant, which recently suffered the worst time in its 25-year history, more than doubled its audience since the last quarter. Sunrise Radio moved its main station to 963 and 972AM after the main frequency (1458AM), alongside 1035AM were acquired by Lyca Media.

During the last quarter, Sunrise Radio was in the transition stage of its move from 1458AM to 963AM and 972AM attracting 112,000 viewers at that time. This time, however, the station has added a very impressive 208,000 listeners totaling to 320,000 listeners – making it London’s most popular Asian radio station. Few points worth considering:

1. The brand ‘Sunrise Radio’ has certainly helped the station in maintaining its stance in the market.

2. Sunrise Radio 2 (Buzz Asia) did not ever achieve these type of numbers and neither did predecessors Club Asia, which peaked at around 250,000 listeners once.

3. Sunrise Radio has delivered these record high numbers without its “stalwart” presenters Ravi Sharma and Sarita Sabharwal, who had been synonymous with the Sunrise Radio brand.

4. Sunrise Radio has added 25,000 new listeners on its new frequency, compared to the old (1458AM) compared to last year.

Talking exclusively to BizAsia, Kay McCarthy, Sales Director at Sunrise Radio, said, “Everyone at Sunrise Radio is thrilled with our audience figures published this morning for Q2 2014. It just shows with a dedicated and talented team hard work and focus pays off. Sunrise Radio has a truly enthusiastic on air team, with a great mix of experienced presenters alongside a newer generation of budding talent with their own brand of 21st century presentation styles. Sunrise Radio has the most loyal and dedicated listeners. Being part of their life is what makes it the Greatest Asian radio station in the World.”

Overview of Sunrise Radio London

This time last year: 295,000

As it stands now: 320,000

Difference: + 25,000

No doubt these are early days for the London Asian radio market, however, these numbers will certainly not be the kind of start Lyca Media were hoping. The two main frequencies 1458AM and 1035AM struggled with a disappointing debut on RAJAR. The Lyca Media radio stations are currently still under transformation without any official identity and that is one thing that maybe working against the stations.

Radio 1458AM could only deliver 81,000 listeners with average listening hours standing at 4.6 hours. It lost 214,000 listeners on the same frequency since a year ago. Listeners may have been left confused with the changes after Sunrise Radio moved to 963AM and 972AM and Radio 1458AM broadcast without an official brand.

Overview of Radio 1458AM

This time last year: 295,000

As it stands now: 81,000

Difference: – 214,000

Radio 1035AM was also down to just 53,000 listeners with average listening hours standing at 3.8 hours. It lost 47,000 listeners on the same frequency since a year ago. When 1035AM WAS broadcasting as Sunrise Radio 3 in the last RAJAR report for Q4/13 – it delivered a reach of 88,000 listeners.

Overview of Radio 1035AM

This time last year: 100,000

As it stands now: 53,000

Difference: – 47,000

The BBC Asian Network somewhat made up for the 200,000 listeners it lost in the previous quarter by adding 74,000 new listeners during Q2 of 2014. The station, which has recently become dominated by Bollywood influences had its average listening hours increase from 6.1 hours to 6.2 hours. Overall, the BBC Asian Network was up to 552,000 listeners. However, it registered a loss of 35,000 listeners year-on-year.

Bob Shennan, Controller Radio 2, 6 Music and Asian Network said, The Asian Network continues to deliver a solid performance, producing high quality, distinctive content across the schedule. From investigative journalism, live music, comedy and specialist language shows, the network provides programming tailored to the needs of its audience. The ambition of the journalism from the Asian Network is reaching all parts of the BBC not just its own airwaves. And it۪s a significant step in the continued renaissance of the station.۝

Overview of BBC Asian Network

This time last year: 587,000

As it stands now: 552,000

Difference: – 35,000

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