As Ryan Tubridy so aptly described, the Joint National Listenership Results (JNLRs) are like a presenter’s school report card.
They are usually published every three months and are based on a survey of around 16,500 respondents. They are welcomed and feared by even RTÉ’s most seasoned broadcasters and producers alike.
Not only are they crucial in developing promotional strategies for radio executives, but they also provide valuable insight into listenership habits and trends.
A Irish Independent The analysis of the JNLRs from 2012 has shown this live line with Joe Duffy has lost almost 100,000 listeners in the last ten years. Whereas it used to be rivalry Tomorrow Ireland to pull in the big numbers, the most recent tally from July 2022 showed 332,000 listeners, compared to 428,000 in July 2012.
At the time, it was the second most popular program in the country after that Tomorrow Ireland. It is now number 10 on the list.
In what could indicate a general slump in afternoon listeners, Ray D’Arcy’s 3pm slot has fallen below 200,000 for the first time ever and has fallen to 197,000 in the last month after peaking at 242,000 during the pandemic would have.
D’Arcy took over the slot from Derek Mooney in 2015 – when he was averaging 215,000 listeners – but the slot had 232,000 in July 2012.
Another drop hit RTÉ’s driving time Show which starts at 4.30pm and was previously hosted by Mary Wilson. It had 259,000 listeners in 2012, while now it stands at 216,000 under the leadership of Sarah McInerney and Cormac Ó hÉadhra.
However, recent results show that RTÉ Radio 1 continues to hold its own in the face of fierce competition from commercial broadcasters, streaming services and podcasts.
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Although traditional media has faced major challenges, the past decade has shown surprisingly little volatility.
The Covid crisis triggered a huge surge in listenership for most of RTÉ’s Radio 1 news programs in the first post-pandemic survey released in November 2020.
Lockdown meant most people were stuck at home, devouring hard news programmes Tomorrow Ireland, which reached a new high of 491,000 listeners. Joe Duffys live line rose to 404,000 driving time increased to 265,000.
At the time, Peter Woods, boss of RTÉ Radio 1, described them as “artificially high” due to the Covid crisis, but his shows are still doing well as the public’s appetite for morning news remains strong. In last week’s JNLRs, RTÉ Radio achieved a market share of 21.4 percent, compared to 23 percent in 2012.
It also retained its flagship show Tomorrow Ireland as the most listened to show in Ireland. Ten years ago it had 444,000 listeners and a decade later it’s 473,000.
John Murray’s morning slot, which was taken over by Ryan Tubridy when he left 2fm in 2015, had 327,000 listeners in 2012 and now has 369,000 as of Late Late Show Host developed the slot and made it his own. In fact, he now has more than twice as many listeners on RTÉ 1 as he did 10 years ago after taking over Gerry Ryan’s 2fm slot, which had 175,000 listeners in July 2012.
Sean O’Rourke is in the morning today Slot had 328,000 listeners in the July 2012 poll and despite a change of ownership in 2019, Claire Byrne has stabilized the ship and it now has 350,000 listeners.
However, RTÉ has kept its listeners for its weekend shows, with Brendan O’Connor being succeeded by the late Marian Finucane in March 2020. She had an average audience of 341,000 for her Sunday show 10 years ago and the latest results show O’Connor had an identical figure for his two-hour time slot.
Miriam O’Callaghan has increased her audience significantly in recent years as she peaked at 271,000 in 2012 and now has 339,000 as of July 2022.
And radio’s continued popularity with the Irish public is also reflected in the regional and commercial markets.
A JNLR report from last year radio and audio market found that 80 percent, or over three million people, tune in to live radio every day, compared to 25 percent who stream music and 7 percent who listen to podcasts. Scott Williams, chairman of the JNLR committee, said: “Irish people love radio.”
RTÉ did not respond to requests for comment. But a source said the broadcaster was happy with it live lines indicates. ““It remains an important agenda-setting program that continues to provide a platform for ordinary people.”
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/radio/rtes-joe-duffy-has-lowest-audience-in-10-years-and-other-things-we-learnt-from-our-deep-dive-jnlr-analysis-41895843.html RTÉ’s Joe Duffy has lowest viewership in 10 years – and other things we learned from our in-depth JNLR analysis