BBC Radio 3 celebrates its highest audience in five years

Audience research reveals that Radio 3 now has 2.2 million listeners

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Figures released today by RAJAR, the official body for measuring UK radio audiences, have shown an increase in the number of people listening to Radio 3, with the station now reaching 2.2 million people. This is Radio 3’s highest audience reach for five years and the highest ever figure in the second quarter of a year. Radio 3’s audience has grown from last year’s 1.89 million.

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The station’s weekday morning coverage has continued to grow, with Breakfast and Essential Classics both scoring record highs, at 751,000 and 954,000 respectively. The surge in listeners has also been helped by new and revamped programmes, including Tom Service’s Listening Service, Jazz Now and Late Junction.

The station’s recent introduction of birdsong-inspired programming is also credited with helping to attract new listeners, whether pairing recordings of birds singing with musicians, or the dawn-to-nightfall coverage of Messiaen’s Catalogue d’oiseaux at this year’s Aldeburgh Festival.

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Alan Davey, controller of Radio 3 says: ‘It’s brilliant to have the highest reach in five years, especially as we are heading towards the 70th anniversary of the Third Programme and its mission, which we share, to connect audiences with remarkable music and culture.’