Jazz FM has kept its weekly listening numbers at 500,000, according to the latest RAJAR statistics for the first quarter of 2014.
These are the first statistics since JazzFM took the step of a very significant cost reduction by leaving the national Digital 1 platform. The last figure for when JazzFM was still on nationwide DAB was 681,000. We spoke briefly to the station's new managing director Jonathan Arendt this morning.
Two plus points: first, the station's efforts to persuade the audience to migrate to internet and mobile have clearly been successful: '35.2% of listening is via internet/mobile compared with 4.8% in the last quarter of 2013'. This is a strong start, and a major shift within one quarter. The general trend to internet listening is firmly in place, and that stat will surely increase further.
The other number JazzFM are drawing attention to is the 5.7 hours average listening per week in London - where just under half the audience is. What is impressive here is that without a presence on FM, the station holds its listeners for a similar time per week to the heavyweights. Comparable numbers for other London stations (average listening hours in London) are: KissFM 5.6, Capital 5.0, Heart 6.3, Magic is 5.8, and SmoothFM 6.5.
For further background, go to our extensive interview in February with Richard Wheatly, the station's chairman about rationale behind the move away from DAB.