Ryan Tubridy, Claire Byrne, Pat Kenny and Matt Cooper were among the top winners in the latest Joint National Listenership Research (JNLR) survey of radio audiences, with the four presenters consolidating and adding to their pandemic gains.
Newstalk said The Pat Kenny Show became its biggest program ever with 184,000 listeners, while Matt Cooper’s Today FM viewership hit its highest point in a decade, while there were also gains for Radio 1 after last year saw some Covid slippage from the station. -19 crisis highs.
Radio 1’s flagship news programme, Morning Ireland, remains the most listened-to program on Irish radio, with 459,000 listeners, up from 450,000 in the last survey. The new JNLR survey, which covers the period from May to December 2021, confirms that its audience is well above the level of 441,000 recorded two years ago.
The Ryan Tubridy Show overtook Brendan O’Connor’s Saturday show to claim second place with 366,000 listeners.
The presenter said he and his team were “very, very happy” with the numbers.
“It’s very heartwarming, it’s very encouraging, and we’re very grateful to have the company of all these listeners every morning between 9 and 10 a.m. We appreciate their thoughts, reflections and contribution to the show,” Mr. Tubridy said.
“We like to feel in some ways that it’s like a 9 o’clock club and a nice little distraction from all the crazy people in the world.”
Today with Claire Byrne, meanwhile, overtook Liveline to become the fourth biggest show with its viewership of 346,000 up 6,000 since the last survey, while Liveline slipped 3,000 to 343,000.
Mr Tubridy and Ms Byrne, who became the Today presenter in mid-2020, are ahead of pre-pandemic figures for their slots, as are Ronan Collins (242,000) and News at One (330,000 ).
RTÉ Radio 1 director Peter Woods called the survey “very encouraging” for the station, while 2FM director and radio strategy director Dan Healy said Irish radio was experiencing a “golden era “, even if the audience growth was concentrated in listeners aged 35 and over. .
The sector’s quarter-hour average tune of 1,058,000, up from 970,000 in the previous survey, is “a very good story for radio” and suggests the medium has emerged from the pandemic in a stronger position than he entered.
Listening at home
The work-from-home phenomenon means more people are free to choose to listen to the radio programs they love while working on weekdays, Mr Healy said, and that offsets the impact that lower travel levels had on car listening. .
But the work-from-home effect appears to be fading later in the day, with Joe Duffy’s Liveline losing 20,000 listeners over the past two years and Ray D’Arcy’s 209,000 listenership also declining.
“I’m not concerned about Liveline,” Mr. Woods said, citing influential editions of the phone show about menopause, bank charges and OxyContin addiction. “I know they’re in the right place and I know they’re heading in the right direction.”
Drivetime, presented by Sarah McInerney and Cormac Ó hEadhra, has 227,000 listeners, which is below its pandemic peak but consistent with the slot’s pre-pandemic performance.
On weekends, the biggest show is Mr. O’Connor’s Saturday show, which has 351,000 listeners. That tally has also dropped from its pandemic high, but is 10,000 higher than the slot’s pre-pandemic figure. Mr O’Connor’s Sunday show has 323,000 listeners, while Sunday with Miriam, presented by Miriam O’Callaghan, remains at the top of its pre-pandemic audience with an audience of 312,000.
RTÉ Radio 1’s market share fell from 21.3% to 21.4%, while 2FM’s share fell from 5.5% to 5.7%, with the station posting a more stable set of figures after have dropped during the pandemic.
2FM Breakfast with Doireann, Donncha and Carl, which aired in late May 2021, now has 111,000 listeners. This is up from 103,000 in the last survey, but still a below average number for the slot.
“We believe in all three of them and they have worked very hard,” Mr Healy said.
Jenny Greene’s 3-6pm 2FM show added 7,000 listeners to an audience of 129,000. From the end of the month, Ms Greene will move to 10pm, with the slot filled by Drive It with The 2 Johnnies, presented from Cahir, Co Tipperary, by podcast duo Johnny Smacks and Johnny B.
“I’ve been listening to them for a while. We all have,” Mr. Healy said. “We’re going to create a second breakfast show, basically, on commute time.”
Today FM and Newstalk
Today FM, which is owned by German media group Bauer, recorded an 8.8% market share, down from 8.9% in the last survey, but all of its weekday peak-hour shows rose and the station toasted its biggest weekly audience. in over a decade.
Ian Dempsey’s breakfast show now has 184,000 listeners, up 6,000 since the last survey to reach the Today FM mainstay’s highest audience in six years, while mid-morning hosts Dermot & Dave increased their audience from 3,000 to 208,000.
Mairead Ronan, who has now left the station, handed new midday host Pamela Joyce a viewership of 143,000, up 11,000 on the latest survey, while driving presenter Fergal D’Arcy is also leaving the station at a record level with 134,000 listeners, up 2,000. He will be replaced from Monday by Ray Foley.
The station described the performance of The Last Word with Matt Cooper as “hugely impressive”, with the in-car news show reaching 173,000 listeners, up 3,000 from the last poll. This is its highest audience in 10 years in what has been one of Irish radio’s most competitive time slots.
Today, FM’s biggest weekend show is the Saturday edition of Weekend Breakfast with Alison Curtis, which took 7,000 listeners to reach 199,000.
“These latest Today FM audience figures are in a different class,” said James Brownlow, music and entertainment editor at Bauer Media Audio Ireland.
On Bauer-owned Newstalk, which recorded a 7% market share, up from 7.1% in the last survey, Pat Kenny’s audience grew by 1,000 to its new all-time high of 184,000, while that there were also all-time highs for Ciara Kelly and Shane Coleman on Newstalk Breakfast (138,000, up 1,000) and Lunchtime Live with Andrea Gilligan (114,000, up 2,000).
At drivetime, The Hard Shoulder with Kieran Cuddihy has 151,000 listeners, up 5,000 since the last poll, while Sean Moncrieff added 1,000 afternoon listeners to 77,000.
“We are thrilled to see our audience continue to grow and to see our production resonating and engaging even more listeners,” said Patricia Monahan, Newstalk’s editor.
Local and regional stations
The survey is based on interviews with 12,600 people between May and December 2021 by research firm Ipsos MBRI on behalf of the radio industry and advertisers.
It revealed that 3.2 million listeners over the age of 15 listen to the radio every day of the week, around 80% of all adults, for an average of four hours and two minutes. Among 15-34 year olds, 71% listen daily, with this age group more likely to listen to local or regional stations.
In Dublin, where Radio 1 has a 31.7% peak-time listening share, Newstalk is the second most listened to station with an 11.9% share. The two national stations are ahead of FM104, which is owned by News Corp subsidiary Wireless, and holds 7.4% of the capital’s market, just ahead of Bauer’s Spin 1038, which holds 7.3%.
In Cork, Red FM, in which The Irish Times has a minority stake, is the station with the largest market share with 22%, ahead of Cork’s 96FM, owned by Wireless, with 20.7% and Radio 1 with 16. 5%.
The most dominant station in its franchise area is Highland Radio, which has a 60.8% market share in North Donegal.