Wednesday, 16 May 2007

RAJAR Qtr 1 2007 - The Post Mortem Part 2 - London

The London market is taking on a familiar pattern at the moment with Heart and Magic engaged in a titanic battle for the top commercial station in London.

Both have held their 'Number 1 in London' status and lost it. But who has the upper hand? Well, interestingly if you look at an average of the share figures over the last 2 years dating back to Qtr 1 2005, Magic averages at a 5.7%, while Heart averages at a 6.0%. Magic have only achieved anywhere in the 7's once, while Heart have managed it twice in last 2 years and their impressive 7.1% is the largest share figure generated by either of these 2 broadcasting adversaries. 1-0 to Heart on share.

And what about the reach 'glass ceiling'? Well - Magic have achieved a 1.867 Million record in the same period and Heart have been 'oh so close' to the (dare I say "magic") figure of 2 Million, cume-ing a 1.911 Million back in Qtr 3 2005. So based on share and reach, it's Heart 2 - Magic 0.

Magic may have nudged back in the lead with this book, but to continue torturing the football-ing analogy... this match has a long time left to play and any pundit would predict that Heart will be back on top before too long.

Capital got an important PR and morale booster of regaining the 'Number 1 Commercial Breakfast Show'. However, the share figure dipped to a new low of 4.6%... considerably lower than either Heart or Magic have ever been in the last 2 years. The new Capital format feels to me more like Radio 1 than anything else on the dial currently, and taking them on will prove tricky when Radio 1 is so strong in London at the moment, chalking up a 1.65 Million reach and 6.7% share in the London TSA.

Kiss didn't capitalise on the closeness with Capital in reach from the previous quarter and dipped back to 1.35 Million, but they're trending up.

So, what does it all mean? The latest set of figures continue to show that playing in some part of the 'AC' arena is essential if you're to currently have any traction in the London commercial radio market. A rejuvenated 'Smooth' will take some time to get going, and may eat into the 12 or so AC share points up for grabs in the market... which could open up some room for Capital, if the audience feel they have found the right format.

Final honourable mention goes to Kismat Radio, who have a year on year reach increase of 71%! A GCap takeover is only a matter of time!

No comments: