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Brits go Gaga for radio – finest hour arrives?

While Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta was still an egg in her mum's ovum, rock band Queen was blasting out its hit song Radio Gaga to huge global audiences – with lyrics that claimed radio's finest hour was yet to come. Was the band right? KitGuru digs through the facts to see what's what.

Not just a character in Goodness Gracious Me, RAJAR is also the Radio Joint Audience Research Limited company that tracks listening audiences in the UK for both the BBC and commercial stations. They have been counting the beans since 1992 and when they are not issuing findings, they do a nice job of a buffet lunch with plenty of expensive wine – you know – so they can discuss methodologies properly.

The latest figures show a truly surprising trend.

Radio audiences have grown.

Not only that. UK radio audiences are now at their highest level ever since the modern system of counting came into practice. Nice.

So, how many listeners are we talking about?   Well, for the BBC's flagship product, Radio One, audiences are now clear of the 11.8 million a week mark – leading ‘BBC top bloke' Ben Cooper to exclaim that he was, “Thrilled”.

So the question becomes, “Who is to blame for these gloriously large audience figures?”

Turns out that it has been something of a digital revolution. Rather than listening on their radios, Brits are using the full range of the BBC's online services – especially for sports events and major music festivals. Listening through DAB (digital receivers) is now popular with over 28% of the audience and the group of people choosing to listen on their smartphones is now growing by almost 25% year-on-year.

Now all we're missing is research to show that people who listen to radio on their phones are smarter, earn more and have improved genitalia (compared to the general population) – and the figures will, no doubt, be boosted even further.

Taken from a time when Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta was being loaded into the tubes for firing. Click to play.

KitGuru says: “You had your time, you had the power – You've yet to have your finest hour”. Prophetic stuff.

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