Under-35s are switching on to classical music, new figures show

The number of Classic FM listeners aged under 35 has increased by 30 percent in the last year, according to the latest set of Radio Joint Audience Research (RAJAR) figures.

Nearly six million people (5.8m) now listen to the station each week, with 1.2 million of those listeners aged under 35. The figures are taken from the second quarter of 2017, during which time the station broadcast High Score – the UK’s first radio series dedicated to videogame music.

Classic FM managing editor Sam Jackson said: ‘In Classic FM’s 25th birthday year, we’re all delighted to see such a significant growth in our listener figures, and I’m particularly heartened that our audience of 15 to 24-year-olds has grown by such an astonishing amount in the last year. Classic FM is serving a new, younger generation of classical music fans, while also continuing to delight listeners of all ages’.

The RAJAR findings, which measure radio audiences in the UK, also demonstrate the growing appeal of urban music. BBC Radio 1Xtra posted the largest gains over the second quarter, with a 9.8 percent jump in audience reach in just three months, despite being down 4.4 percent year-on-year.

BBC Radio 1 listeners are up almost half a million on the previous quarter, while BBC Radio 2 sunk to its lowest weekly reach in almost five years, with a figure of 14.884 million. BBC’s highest paid star Chris Evans lost close to half a million listeners on his BBC Radio 2 breakfast slot.

BBC Radio 6 Music remains the number one digital station but experienced a dip, down almost five percent to 2.2 million.

Elsewhere, overall findings report that 90 percent of the population listen to the radio each week, with 61 percent tuning into digital radio.