analysis

Charts analysis: Senorita solid at summit

Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello’s Senorita is No.1 for the fourth week in a row, and fifth time in total, with consumption shrinking 6.82% week-on-week to 54,934 units (including 48,592 from sales-equivalent streams). Its consumption has exceeded 50,000 units throughout ...

Charts analysis: Slipknot back at No.1 after 18 years

Twenty years after their eponymous first album debuted and peaked at No.37 on sales of 4,331 copies, heavy metal veterans Slipknot’s sixth studio album, We Are Not Your Kind, blazes to the top of the chart, becoming their eighth Top 75 entry, fifth consecutive Top 5 studio effort and second No.1. It does so on first week consumption of 31,828 units (including 4,281 from-sales equivalent streams), 3.52% above the 30,745 copies their most recent album, 5: The Gray Chapter, sold debuting and peaking at No.2 a little short of five years ago. The band – six of whom have been in Slipknot since their chart debut – previously reached No.1 with their second album, which was named after their home state of Iowa, and sold 51,822 copies on debut, 18 years ago next week. It remains their highest first week sales. Overall sales of Slipknot albums in the UK exceed 1.5m and although it was their lowest-charting studio set, that self-named 1999 debut remains their biggest seller, with a to-date tally of 378,429. Iowa has also gone platinum, with sales of 316,758 copies. Definitions of ‘heavy metal’ vary, but by my reckoning We Are Not Your Kind is only the fifth of that genre among the 278 new No.1 albums in the 2010s. Slipknot’s debut ends the introductory four week run at the summit for Ed Sheeran’s No.6 Collaborations Project, which retreats to No.2 on sales of 27,105 copies. Nowadays comprising only of 1997 founder members – Welsh vocalist, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Grant Nicholas and Japanese bass player Taka Hirose – Feeder’s 10th studio album, Tallulah, debuts at No.4 (7,457 sales). Their seventh studio album to make the Top 10, and their ninth Top 10 album in all, it is their highest-charting album since 2005 studio set, Pushing The Senses (their fifth) and the following year’s compilation The Singles provided them with back-to-back No.2s. Their last studio album, All Bright Electric, achieved a more modest No.10 peak on first week sales of 5,953 a little under three years ago. The Singles is their biggest seller, with to-date consumption of 528,299, while their top studio set is fourth release, Comfort In Sound, which peaked at No.6 in 2002 and has sold 509,592 copies. The rest of the Top 10: Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent (2-3, 12,704 sales) by Lewis Capaldi, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (5-5, 5,627 sales) by Billie Eilish, The Greatest Showman soundtrack (6-6, 5,289 sales), Divide (9-7, 4,622 sales) by Ed Sheeran, Staying At Tamara’s (8-8, 4,502 sales) by George Ezra, Bohemian Rhapsody (10-9, 4,457 sales) by Queen and High Expectations (3-10, 4,184 sales) by Mabel.   Departing the Top 10: Care Package (4-20, 2,790 sales) by Drake and Rewind Replay Rebound (7-172, 826 sales) by Volbeat. American indie/folk group Bon Iver have left one week more between albums than Feeder. Their 2008 debut For Emma Forever Ago was a slow starter, taking 13 weeks to chart, and peaking at No.42, but it was a highly-rated slow burner, and remains their biggest seller, with sales to date of 281,905 copies. It set up their eponymous second album for a No.4 debut on sales of 31,896 copies. Their third album, 22, A Million, was denied pole position by Craig David in 2016, but gave them a No.2 debut/peak on sales of 19,813 sales. With its physical release deliberately held off for a fortnight, new set I, I sold 4,165 copies last week and debuts at No.11. Rappers Rick Ross and Trippie Redd are in fierce competition to debut at No.2 in the USA behind Slipknot. They settle for lower ground here, with Ross’ 10th studio album, Port Of Miami 2, providing his fifth chart entry here, and surpassing the No.29 debut (3,000 sales) of its 2017 predecessor, Rather You Than Me, opening at No.18 (2,825 sales) for the 43-year-old from Florida. 20-year-old Trippie Redd, from Ohio, scores his third UK chart album a year to the week after his first. That was Life’s A Trip, which sold 3,307 copies debuting and peaking at No.19 last August. His mixtape, A Love Letter To You 3, followed just 13 weeks later, debuting at No.31 (3,811 sales). His second full-length studio album, ! (Exclamation Mark) surpasses them both, debuting at No.19 (2,815 sales). Singer/songwriter Marika Hackman’s Any Human Friend, debuts at No.42 (1,818 sales), becoming the highest charting of her three albums to date. Her 2015 debut We Slept At Last reached No.60 and 2017 follow-up, I’m Not Your Man, peaked at No.74. Now That’s What I Call Music! 103 spends a fourth week atop the compilation chart, on sales of 13,415 copies. Overall album sales are down 1.01% week-on-week at 1,664,730, 2.73% above same week 2018 sales of 1,620,454. Sales-equivalent streams accounted for 1,161,462 sales, 69.77% of the total. Sales of paid-for albums are up 0.08% week-on-week at 503,268, 26.17% below same week 2018 sales of 681,699.

Q2 RAJAR analysis: BBC, Bauer, Global and Virgin on latest listening figures

Churn, churn, churn, churn, as Fran Healy once (almost) sang on one of the bigger Travis hits 20 years ago. It’s also the theme of this quarter’s RAJAR results. After a year of change in 2018, with new presenters across breakfast and other key shows, 2019 is all about the fallout from those decisions by station controllers. The churn is now kicking in with Q2 as listeners decide whether to stick with their favourite station’s new presenter – or look elsewhere. Like all those new faces in government, it suddenly means there’s a fresh wave of RAJAR leaders – Roman Kemp, Kisstory, Ken Bruce – to figure in the Music Week analysis. Virgin Radio’s star breakfast signing Chris Evans has been hoovering up listeners, although this quarter was more about consolidation for the former Radio 2 star (up 63,000 from Q1’s debut RAJAR to 1.11m). “I don’t think listeners have necessarily gone to any one place, they’re still making their minds up as to where they want to be,” says Mike Cass, Virgin Radio content controller. “With new shows like Heart’s Jamie Theakston and Amanda Holden now in the fray, it will be a good quarter or two before you see it truly settle down.” In terms of the media headlines, BBC Radio 2’s Zoe Ball was the obvious target as she lost 781,000 listeners since her first RAJAR quarter three months ago. Significantly, Ball’s 8.266 million total means that she’s been overtaken by Radio 2 mainstay Ken Bruce (8.49m listeners) as the nation’s most popular broadcaster. For Lewis Carnie, head of Radio 2, at least it means a RAJAR win whichever of his morning daytime presenters is on top. “Ken’s mix of warmth, wit and wry Scots humour, combined with a killer music plot, is the recipe for success on his show,” smiles Carnie. “After 34 years on Radio 2, how incredible that he’s now the most listened to show on the network, and on UK radio.” Carnie describes Bruce’s PopMaster quiz as a “phenomenon”, while the Piano Room slot has established itself as Radio 2’s mellower alternative to Radio 1’s Live Lounge. Radio 2 is still the station to beat, though commercial radio is running rampant with a weekly reach of 66% of the population compared to the BBC’s 62%. “It’s hugely encouraging to see the strong growth of commercial radio reach and the share of commercial radio listening growing across the last year from 45.7% to 48%, which is a big jump,” says Gary Stein, group programme director at Hits Radio brand networks. “The choice commercial radio is bringing to listeners, alongside the growth of devices like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, is changing listening habits. Stations like Kisstory, which is now the No 1 digital station, and the genre-driven Country Hits Radio are the beneficiaries.” Something for new BBC controller of pop Lorna Clarke’s in tray… BBC Having made some huge changes across its networks, the BBC was always going to be facing up to some significant audience churn – and, to be fair, execs have been warning about that recently. BBC Radio 6 Music suffered in Q2, down 6.5% year-on-year and 9.1% in three months. At 2.285m, the station has also lost its digital radio crown. Brand extension Kisstory is now the digital-only market leader on 2.323m (up 14.8% year-on-year). “It isn’t unexpected,” says 6 Music station head Paul Rodgers. “Three months ago we were talking about what a big increase there was for the 6 Music audience. It’s a fact of life – RAJARs go up and they go down. We are roughly where we were at the end of last year. I’m not downhearted at all.” For Rodgers, the success of Kisstory underlines the fact that radio networks need to be a “well-defined proposition to appeal to your audience in a very competitive environment”. Lauren Laverne secured the station’s second biggest breakfast RAJAR this quarter, while Gilles Peterson scored his highest ratings. 6 Music can also take heart from the Hyundai Mercury Price shortlist recognition of artists such as Idles, Black Midi and Fontaines DC, all championed by the network. “What’s important for us is that we concentrate not on being the biggest but on trying to be the best place to come and get brilliant music from beyond the mainstream,” says Rodgers. “It’s a great time for the kind of music that we support. We are planning for the future, that’s the key thing. We want 6 Music to be here long in the future as a credible and relevant radio station.” That is doubtless the ambition for fellow digital network BBC Radio 1Xtra, which had a better quarter (1.102m, up 6.7%). Dotty’s Breakfast Show had a record 509,000 listeners. Over at BBC Radio 1, the station had a decent quarter (up 3.5% year-on-year to 9.563m for listeners aged 15+) and Greg James is now firmly established with his highest breakfast ratings to date (5.187m). That’s actually below previous incumbent Nick Grimshaw’s final RAJAR of 5.291m, although James only broadcasts four days a week. The concern for the BBC is the share of listening, which has dipped below 50%. Radio 2 has lost 1.5 percentage points of listening hours share in a year (now 16.4%), following changes across shows including Breakfast and Drivetime, now presented by Sara Cox. The station’s reach is 14.593m, down 2.3% year-on-year. “I know that we have the right presenters, in the right slots, at the right time,” says Carnie. “I remember when Chris dropped a million after taking over from Sir Terry Wogan in 2010, so this is not new territory. As we have a large audience, seasonal fluctuations can be in the hundreds of thousands. “But saying that, competition in the radio arena has never been so great as new digital services are being launched each quarter, and we welcome that. Listeners have more choice than ever before in the history of the radio industry.” Carnie “couldn’t be happier” with Radio 2’s line-up. “There is always audience churn when major schedule changes are made and you have to wait for a few quarters to see the figures settle down. But as everyone in radio knows, you cannot keep a schedule the same forever.” Some Radio 2 listeners might have hoped for just that. BAUER MEDIA Over at Bauer Media, they have been busy continuing what the BBC started in the noughties – launching new digital networks to reach an under-served audience. The big debut in this RAJAR period was Scala Radio, a digital alternative to Classic FM. Scala attracted big names such as former Radio 2 Drivetime presenter Simon Mayo, Mark Kermode and Anthea Turner. The station had a huge marketing push and media blitz, which helped it open its RAJAR account with 258,000. “We’re really pleased with the numbers,” says Scala’s music and content director, Ric Blaxill. “It’s a great book for us to start and we’re looking to grow in the future as well. “The performance from Simon Mayo in weekdays is really strong and his Saturday show also does really well for us. Simon is leading the pack. But looking at the listening across the day, there’s a good, steady shape to all of it.” On average, listeners tuned into Scala for 5.9 hours, compared to 6.7 hours for Classic FM. The Global rival’s reach was up 9.2% year-on-year in Q2 (5.627m), but listening hours were down by a million (7.3 average hours per listener in the prior quarter). So some of that nascent classical audience could be dividing its time between the established network and new entrant. “We were really pleased in terms of average hours – it means people that are finding us are really enjoying what they’re listening to and staying around,” adds Blaxill. While there’s undoubtedly some crossover with Classic FM (they even recruited Lewis Capaldi for its Revision Hour slot), Blaxill believes the station is trying something new. “We’re trying to break the mould of classical music in the UK and uncovering a previously untapped audience of fans that want some entertainment around classical music,” he says. With less fanfare, Bauer made a similar impact with Country Hits Radio, which had a debut RAJAR figure of 208,000. The network is on a number of local DAB multiplexes that cover around 55% of the country. “We’re seeing a lot of consumption through smart speakers and connected devices,” says Stein. “There is a big uptake in terms of streaming across the UK.” Stein describes it as an “incredible” start and the station has won over listeners with established country presenters such as Ty Bentli and Radio 2 regular Baylen Leonard, who secured an interview with Lil Nas X following the network’s early support for Old Town Road. Bauer Media is planning to meet with the Country Music Association about promoting the genre in the UK. “These figures show that the station has captured the zeitgeist for what is a fast-growing genre,” adds Stein. Elsewhere, Absolute had a difficult quarter (down 15.4% year-on-year at 2.151m), Kiss slipped 4.4% to 5.379m and Hits Radio Network was off 1.3% (5.789m). But Magic was up 6.3% year-on-year at 4.12m. GLOBAL As well as growth at Classic FM, commercial radio leader Global secured a big result with Roman Kemp on the new nationwide Capital Breakfast Show, which replaced local Capital shows. With 3.796m listeners for his first RAJAR, Kemp now has the biggest commercial breakfast show and trounced previous holder Dave Berry on Absolute (one of the most stable of shows on 2.15m). Curiously, Global described Kemp as No.2 behind Heart. But for this RAJAR quarter, Heart still had its line-up of regional breakfast shows. So the only way Heart beat Kemp was by combining all those local shows. Either way, given reports of a £3m fee for Holden, Global will be looking for a blockbuster opening from its new nationwide Breakfast Show, which pairs her with Jamie Theakston. Check back here in three months’ time... While Capital Network was down 3% year-on-year at 7.197m, brand extension Capital Xtra continues to build its audience with a 9.8% increase to 1.931m. “We’re seeing a clear trajectory of growth as we celebrate record figures once more at Capital Xtra,” says Al Smith, managing editor of Capital Xtra and head of music, Capital Brand. “We now have more than 1.9m people listening across the UK and listening hours have yet again surpassed the 7m mark. “I’m so proud of our team for continuing to captivate young and hard-to-reach audiences. We’re leading the way in the audio market within this genre, attracting revered legends such as DJ Semtex to our presenter line-up as well as nurturing exciting new talent like Yinka and Robert Bruce, all of whom are performing brilliantly.” Heart Network was stable at 8.536m (down 1.4% on the prior year’s quarter), while Radio X dipped 3.5% on the 2018 quarter to 1.621m. Even Gerry Cinnamon on heavy rotation couldn’t prevent a decline. WIRELESS GROUP Radio X could be the first big casualty of the rise of Virgin Radio under Chris Evans. As well as the Evans result mentioned above, the station was up a massive 18.8% on the prior quarter at 1.545m. Virgin changed its reporting period so year-on-year comparisons aren’t like-for-like (for the record, Q2 2018 was 413,000). While Evans was always expected to find a sizeable audience, it’s worth noting that former Radio 1 Breakfast Show presenter Chris Moyles took over three years to hit 931,000 on Radio X. “To see that we’ve got that growth there is absolutely phenomenal,” says Mike Cass. “We attracted listeners by launching Chris and doing that heavyweight marketing campaign; quarter two was always about getting them listening for longer. I’m clearly not going to turn down new listeners, but we needed to really make sure that the people we had coming in stayed beyond Breakfast.” Average Virgin listening hours per head have increased from six hours in Q1 to 6.5 hours in Q2, and Cass says the growth is from both Evans and daytime shows. The 10.08m listening hours was originally a target the station was aiming for by 2020. “I’m really proud of Chris’ numbers – to have that Breakfast Show punching such a high number at such an early stage is phenomenal,” says Cass. Afternoon presenter Kate Lawler (a former Big Brother winner, no less) was moved to the Drivetime slot last week. “Kate and Eddy [Temple-Morris] usually had the highest ratings at the station in the pre-Chris era and they have carried on their great performances,” says Cass. The other big radio revelation in the Q2 RAJARs was digital listening’s share advancing from 50.2% a year ago to 56%. It did hit 56.4% in the prior quarter – so was this an Evans effect? “It was a game-changer to get such a name to come on board that would then make people want to invest [in DAB sets],” says Cass. “Undoubtedly, when it was announced that Chris was coming to Virgin, everybody who works in digital radio saw it was a fantastic move for the industry.” But with so much change, maybe Q3 will see the FM fightback...

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