BBC Radio 4 has lost three-quarters of a million listeners over the past year, according to official figures showing the challenge to the company's commercial rivals.
The figures for the last three months of 2018 show the BBC's flagship news and current waste station reached 10.5 million Britons a week, down 750,000 over the same period last year, while BBC 5 Live lost 10% of the public over the last 12 months and is now listened to by fewer than 5 million people a week.
At the same time, commercial radio station LBC achieved its highest audience in its 46-year history and reached 2.2 million listeners a week, as they voted in favor of more perceived programming from, for example. Nick Ferrari, James & # 39; Brien and Nigel Farage.
The official Rajar characters show the challenges the BBC faces at a time when commercial rivals pay big money to lure their stars. The UK's three major commercial radio networks are investing heavily in new, digital outlets only in the belief that the propagation of digital radios and smart speakers such as Amazon's Echowill encourages people to try new stations.
As a result, the BBC's share of total radio listening is down to 50.9%, with the long-term decline suggesting that the company will be overtaken by the commercial sector at some point in the next year.
BBC radio director James Purnell has previously said he was not worried about such measurements and instead focused on developing audiences for the highly criticized BBC Sounds app and ensuring that its output was relevant to the next generation through increased investment in podcasting and online audio.
The period covered by the Rajar figures was shortly before a significant switch on the radio, saw several separate presentation centers, including Chris Evans for Virgin Radio, Zoe Ball and Sara Cox, who started new shows on BBC Radio 2 and Simon Mayo who left to start a new classical music station.
BBC Radio 1 also lost half a million listeners, although the new Greg James breakfast program added 300,000 people to the audience, as listeners aged 10 and over were included.
Radio's Today program is now being listened to 6.8 million listeners a week, only a small dip in the same period last year. On Wednesday, John Humphrys confirmed that he would leave the station after 32 years of the program.
Elsewhere in the commercial radio sector, Bauer Media's magical network has hit a record high of 4.2 million listeners, while Global's Heart Network reaches 9.7 million listeners per week.
Rupert Murdoch's Wireless Group, the third largest UK commercial radio group, has made a significant investment in, for example, Virgin Radio and TalkRadio, but listening figures suggest that it is still struggling to build an audience.
In spite of asking the BBC for sports rights and hiring Jeremy Kyle, Matthew Wright and Eamonn Holmes, the audience for its national stations has only slightly edged up from a low base and remains a comparative downturn in the industry.
Virgin Radio attracted only 447,000 listeners per week at the end of 2018, far from the 9 million who voted in the last months of Evans BBC Radio 2 breakfast show. His bosses hope that this figure jumps significantly in the coming months, backed by his high-profile arrival, heavy advertising and cross-promotion from the Sun newspaper.