Goodbye and thank you Chris Moyles
It’s been fun, if not a bit, well hairy at times. On 14 September after 8 years and 8 months, Chris Moyles signed off as the longest serving Radio 1 breakfast presenter since the show was launched almost exactly 45 years ago with Tony Blackburn.
The average lifespan of a Radio 1 breakfast DJ is 3 years and 4 months (if we exclude Mark Goodier who was always going to be temporary). This really puts Chris Moyles’ tenure into perspective and, coupled with his regular weekly audience of 7 million listeners, should give his replacement Nick Grimshaw something to think about. One headache for the BBC is that the station’s average listener age is 32 and older than the 15-29 target. Grimshaw is ten years younger than Moyles and there is hope that the audience will get younger too.
More generally, on average we spend 22 hours per week listening to the radio, but for 15-24s this falls to 17 hours and is on a slow decline. That said, they are more likely than the population as a whole to listen to the radio via a digital platform (38% share of their listening compared with 31%). Within this, online and apps are the most popular. 22% of 15-24s listen to the radio via online or mobile apps compared with 12% of all adults. Mobile is increasingly becoming the one-stop shop for all media consumption and radio is no exception, particularly among 15-24s.
According to the latest set of RAJAR figures, 37.1 million adults across the country tune in to a weekday breakfast show in an average week. Breakfast has long been established the most important time of day, whether it’s for food or your daily diet of radio. It commands the biggest audience by time of day and forms part of the breakfast routine, however calm or chaotic that may be. Indeed, breakfast radio is the subject of an upcoming Ipsos MediaCT breakfast seminar featuring John Myers and speakers from BBC and Bauer.
One should not under-estimate social media as a platform to enhance listener engagement. A 3 minute clip of a radio broadcast on YouTube may get far more views than the full show gets for its audience figures. Chris Moyles has 2.6 million followers on Twitter and received 150,000 texts in his last show. I have heard it said that Twitter is the ‘modern equivalent of shouting at the radio’, which must have made for a deafening exchange of tweets with Moyles!
Nick Grimshaw has been instructed to play twice as much music as his predecessor, which suggests that perhaps Chris Moyles liked to talk a bit. This reminds me of a quote from Fran Lebowitz:
“Radio news is bearable. This is due to the fact that while the news is being broadcast, the disc jockey is not allowed to talk.”