Audience Research


Welsh third sector funding and research company ‘Funding Eye’ was commissioned by the WCVA for the Welsh Government to interview local people about their radio listening preferences in order to guage GTFM’s relative popularity for the information of potential advertisers.

Asked to identify stations they’d listened to in the past 7 days, 43%* of adult (15+) radio listeners in Pontypridd said ‘GTFM’, compared to Radio 1’s 26%; Real Radio’s 25%; Radio 2’s 23% and Capital FM’s 21%. *Equivalent to a Weekly Reach of 41% of all adults (15+)

Across a larger part of it’s Rhondda Cynon Taff County broadcast area GTFM reaches 28%** of all adult radio listeners in an average week, equal to Radio 1 and ahead of Real Radio and Radio 2 both with 22%; and Capital FM with 19%. ** Equivalent to a Weekly Reach of 26.6% of all adults (15+). Since this survey was carried out Real Radio has been rebranded ‘ Heart’.

Because some people use radio on a less than weekly basis, it is possible GTFM reaches up to 60% of the CF37 population in any month, and 40% of the larger area population.

Estimated Listener Numbers:

The 15+ population of the CF37 postcode area is 37,842, of whom 35,950 (95%) had listened to radio ‘during the last 7 days’. Of these an estimated 15,458 had listened to GTFM . The total 15+ population of the larger part of RCT surveyed is 108,680, of which 103,246 (95%) had listened to radio in the last 7 days. Of these 28,909 had listened to GTFM (with an identical proportion of the population listening to BBC Radio 1). Please note GTFM’s full coverage area is larger than this

Listening Hours:

GTFM enjoys very long average listening hours when compared to industry averages. This survey found that on weekdays the majority of GTFM listeners tuned-in for between 2 and 3 hours (per day), and a sizeable minority for 3 to 4 hours. Listening spans on weekend days tended to be a little shorter, averaging 1.5 hours per day per listener. Over any week therefore, assuming a weekday average of 2.5 hours per day (x 5) + 3 hours when Saturday and Sunday are combined, a typical listener will spend an impressive 15.5 hours tuned to the station.

‘Favourite’ Station & Age Groups:

GTFM also came top when listeners were asked which station they listened to the most. And it shared the accolade with BBC Radio 1 in the larger RCT survey area. GTFM listeners most likely to say it’s their favourite station are aged 35 and over.

This is consistent with the priority GTFM gives during weekday daytime to local news and information, which is likely to be more interesting to 35+’s. But the station does have listeners in all age groups and is developing listening among younger people through targetted evening programming, especially Monday’s 10pm-Midnight and Friday 7-10pm. It also has output dedicated to listeners over retirement age on Sunday morning.

Advertising Opportunity

The fact GTFM attracts particularly large proportions of people aged 35+ contrasts with the audience profiles of the area’s two prominent commercial stations. For example, the survey found Capital FM’s largest age group to be 15-24, while Real Radio’s biggest audience group is aged 25-34. This factor means GTFM provides an opportunity for advertisers to reach listeners not catered for by the commercial radio stations, or for larger companies to compliment their advertising campaigns on them, thus gaining access to the significant proportion of local householders and other economically active people who cannot be reached in large numbers via other radio outlet.

Our survey also found that 55% of the people saying they’d listened to GTFM over the past 7 days had not listened either to Capital FM or Real Radio that week. What’s more, 32% have never listened.

High Awareness Conversion

Another indication of GTFM’s genuine popularity with listeners is the fact a very large proportion of people aware of the station have become regular listeners. When Question 1 of the survey asked what stations respondents had ever heard of (not necessarily listened-to) 63% of respondents in Pontypridd said GTFM, with 53% going on to say they had listened to it at some point and 43% said they had listened during the past 7 days.

Meanwhile in the greater GTFM area, 52% knew the station name, 38% had listened at some point and 28% during the past 7 days. Therefore In Pontypridd, two thirds of the people who have heard of the station had actually listened to it the last 7 days. And in the wider part of RCT surveyed a little over half the people who know about the station are now regular listeners.

Survey Methodology

This ‘dipstick’ style survey consisted of 374 face-to-face interviews with adults (aged 15+) from the CF37 postcode area and adjoining RCT communities Llantrisant, Taffs Well, Porth and Abercynon.

The fieldwork was undertaken during February and March 2013 by Media students from Coleg Morgannwg and The University of South Wales. The survey was organised by Jon Matthews at ‘Funding Eye’ of Llandrindod Wells, who also extrapolated the results. Weighting was applied to exactly match the sample with Census age group profiles.

GTFM is grateful to the Wales Council for Voluntary Action acting on behalf of the Welsh Government’s Communities First programme for commissioning this study.

Earlier Research Results

Previous research was commissioned in September 2005 from Helen Thornton with methodology based on an industry recognised Hallett Arendt model. All those surveyed were aged over 18 and were interviewed in the core Pontypridd coverage area.

Main findings:

* By September 2005 GTFM’s ‘weekly reach’* had increased to 27% (it was measured as 19% not long after the station launched full-time 3 years earlier).
* This made GTFM the 2nd most-listened-to radio station in the core of its broadcast area with only Red Dragon FM ahead of it.
* Satisfaction levels with GTFM programmes were high, with the community nature of the output and the local news and information, ranking highest.
* 66% of listeners surveyed listened for up to 4 hours a day
* 70% of listeners were working and earning the highest income in the household

This survey was commissioned before GTFM’s local coverage was extended in 2007 to reach more of the Rhondda and Cynon Valleys, together with previously un-served locations like Glyncoch.

*Weekly Reach = the percentage of all local adults (including non-radio listeners) who claim to have listened to a particular station at least once over the past 7 days. As a medium Radio still reaches around 90% of the UK’s adult population each week.

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