The Absolute Radio group of stations had a total average weekly audience of 2.98 million, with its main Absolute Radio station up 15.6% year on year to 1.61 million in the first three months of 2012, according to the latest official Rajar statistics published on Thursday.
Absolute Radio 60s debuted with 151,000, with Absolute Radio 70s launching with 157,000.
Absolute Radio 80s remains the broadcaster’s biggest digital offering with 857,000 listeners, up 37.3% year on year. But Absolute Radio Noughties was down 50.6% on 2011 to just 84,000.
Among the other national commercial stations, Global Radio‘s Classic FM lost 10.5% of its audience year on year – but was marginally up on the previous quarter – to 5.44 million.
The station, which received a special prize at the Sony Radio Academy awards this week, now has nearly 600,000 fewer listeners than it did in the first three months of 2011.
UTV Media’s TalkSport was up on the previous quarter but down year on year – with not much movement in either direction – to 3.23 million.
GMG Radio’s Smooth Radio had a nationwide audience of 3.32 million listeners, marginally up on the previous quarter but 7.6% higher year on year. GMG Radio parent company Guardian Media Group also publishes MediaGuardian.
Among the national digital stations, there were double-digit year-on-year losses at Bauer Media’s Q, which fell 26.2% to 214,000.
Global Radio’s Xfm network also suffered double-digit losses, down 13.6% on the previous year to 809,000.
Bauer’s Smash Hits was also down year on year, 9.4% to 991,000. But there was better news at sister station Heat, up 14.4% to 716,000, while sister station The Hits climbed back above the 1 million mark with 1.08 million listeners.
Jazz FM was another station with double digit year on year gains – nothing to do with this we are sure – up 13.9% to 564,000, while Planet Rock had 861,000 listeners, up 8% on the previous year.
Global Radio’s Heart remained the biggest national commercial network with 7.48 million listeners – up 0.7% year on year – ahead of sister group Capital with 7.05 million, up 5% on 2011.
Bauer Radio’s Kiss had a UK audience of 4.36 million, up 7.2% year on year, but sister network Magic was down 5.6% on 2011 with 3.61 million listeners.
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