As always the dynamic London radio market never fails to surprise at Rajar time.
One thing I've noticed when looking at the charts was that there's been more of a 'coming together' of the stations on weekdays. Go back a few years and there would be a fairly clear gap for much of the time between the main London stations - Capital, Magic, Heart and Kiss - and the rest, with Absolute falling roughly in the middle. This time there seems to be less 'white space', mainly because those 'Big Four' have all seen a drop in their figures, while Absolute is ahead of both Capital and Kiss at one point. In particular Capital, despite having London's highest commercial audience, has just registered its lowest-ever Hours.
Meanwhile Kiss have seen their audience tumble at Breakfast, while both Neil Fox on Magic and Nick Ferrari on LBC 97.3 have both done well. Capital still tops the pile at the all-important 8 o'clock peak but it falls away fairly quickly afterwards.
As usual LBC continues to dominate the night-time hours. In some previous quarters it's had other stations, especially Magic, snapping at its heels but in this quarter the competition has fallen away. The figures here are purely for 97.3 and do not include those for the simulcast with 1152AM. There's also a strong performance at Drivetime - James Whale left the station at the end of February so these figures will be a mix of mainly his plus the first month of Iain Dale.
(Click on charts to enlarge)
Note: Figures used in all charts for Absolute are those for 'Total Absolute Radio (London)
Survey period - 31st December 2012 - 31st March 2013. Source: Rajar/Ipsos Mori/RSMB.
As usual I issue my standard 'health warning' about not taking a single quarter's figures in isolation - a year-on-year comparison is the better one - you'll find the charts for Q1/2012 here and Q4/2012 here.
There is also, as always, some excellent coverage and commentary from Matt Deegan (who has compiled some excellent facts and figures) and Adam Bowie, as well as Media UK and Radio Today.