Classic FM hits lowest ever audience figures losing 426,000 listeners
Classic FM hits lowest ever audience figures after losing 426,000 listeners in latest quarter with station bosses accused of being ‘too trendy’ and ‘turning their backs’ on traditional fans
- It comes as the station has tried to get more young people to listen in
The number of listeners tuning in to Classic FM has plummeted to its lowest-ever audience levels leading to accusations that the station is ‘turning their backs’ on traditional classical music fans instead seeking younger listeners.
New figures show the commercial station lost 426,000 listeners in the last quarter, with 4.5 million people listening each week as of March.
This compared to 4.9 million listeners in the three months leading up to Christmas.
It is the smallest audience the channel has had since the quarterly figures were published. Those listeners over the age of 65 saw the sharpest drop off in the most recent statistics.
The drop comes as the channel launched a show dedicated to video game music, a show called Pet Classics to calm animals and a positivity series.
The number of listeners tuning in to Classic FM has plummeted to its lowest-ever audience levels after being accused of ‘turning their backs’ on traditional classical music fans. Pictured: Host Charlotte Hawkins during this year’s Pet Classics show
One industry source told The Telegraph: ‘This feels just like the BBC. While diversity and variety on the radio is of course important, stations if they keep turning their backs on that core audience.’
David Taylor, a leading classical music consultant, wrote on his blog: ‘There is now an overall trend of decline for Classic FM, having posted record lows for five of the last seven quarters, including dropping under 5 million listeners for the first time.’
In recent months, the station has launched a show about video game music called High Score, hosted by Eímear Noone who writes scores for various games.
In January, Classic FM also rolled a ‘positivity series’ with the former Love Island star Dr Alex George who would give ‘practical advice and tips on living every day in a positive way’.
Classic FM host Charlotte Hawkins also began another show in November called Pet Classics where music would be played to help ‘keep anxious pets – and their owners – calm and relaxed during firework season’.
The station remains the UK’s most popular classical music channel with 2.6 million more listeners than its next rival
The station remains the UK’s most popular classical music channel with 2.6 million more listeners than its next rival.
In comparison BBC Radio 3 grew by 64,000 listeners from 1.87 million to 1.93 million while Scala Radio grew 33,000, from 233,000 to 266,000.
Boom Radio, which targets a baby boomer audience, has doubled its audience in a year to 635,000.
Global declined to comment.
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