Commercial radio is becoming an ever-greater presence in the lives of Britons, judging by new data from listener measurement body RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research).

Latest figures show that commercial stations’ share of total listening hours climbed to 45.5% in Q4 2002, with the length of time spent listening to such broadcasts rising 7.2% among adults and 9.3% of all listeners since 1999. Each week, a total of 65.2% of British adults tune in to commercial radio for an average of 15.3 hours each.

The listening figures are even more impressive in younger demographics. Among 15–24-year-olds, 80.4% listen each week, while 72.5% of 4–14-year-olds tune in.

RAJAR also noted an increase in audiences for local commercial radio, with 56% of adults listening to such stations.

These results makes radio one of the few media eroding television’s dominance of the ‘media day’.

“Only radio and newer technologies such as internet and DVD are managing to claim an increasing share of consumers' time,” declared RAJAR’s director of marketing operations Michael O’Brien. “The nature of radio fits well with a busier and more mobile consumer, and it is able to complement and work alongside media such as the internet.”

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff