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#RAJAR Q1/16 - Digital Radio listening is now over 44%

From a press release to news@media.info
access_timePosted 18 May 2016, 8.31pm edt

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According to Rajar Q1 2016 data released today, digital radio listening has sustained its long term growth to reach a new high of 44.1%. For the first time, digital listening in home increased to over 50%, with 51.5% of all radio listening in home being to a digital platform, ahead of listening on AM/FM (48.5%).

This quarter saw Rajar apply a new methodology to the data which eliminated any unspecified listening previously termed “analogue/digital not stated”. Only a small proportion of this re-allocation of unspecified listening has been allocated to digital listening and the majority of the increase in digital listening is due to sustained strong underlying growth.

There was growth across all digital platforms, with DAB growing its share of listening to 30.9% and now accounting for over 70% of total digital listening. Ownership of a DAB digital radio increased to 55.7% of the population, with 30 million adults now claiming to own a DAB radio, an increase of 14% year on year.

Online share of listening grew to 7.8% and accounts for 18% of digital listening, while digital TV share of listening grew to 5.4% to account for 12% of digital listening.

Digital listening in car grew by 32.5% to 21.2% of all listening (from 16% in Q1 2015), boosted by growth in new cars being fitted with digital radio as standard to over 80% in Q1 2016 [Source: CAP/SMMT].

Digital share of national station listening increased by 9% to 52.9% and for the first time digital accounted for half (49.9%) of total BBC Radio 3 listening while BBC Radio 4 digital listening increased to 47%. Local stations have less digital listening (29%) than national stations but are growing faster with an annual increase of 16%.

Digital-only stations continue to grow and now account for over 30% of all digital listening. The leading overall digital-only station, BBC 6 Music, and leading commercial digital-only station, Absolute 80s, both had record breaking quarters, with BBC 6 Music increasing 8% year on year to 2.2 million listeners and Absolute 80s increasing 19% to 1.7 million listeners.

Overall, Radio X listeners grew year on year (vs XFM) by 40% to 1.2m with growth coming from digital listening which increased by 97%. The Q1 2016 Rajar data does not include any listening results for the 16 new digital-only stations launched in March 2016 (15 new stations on Sound Digital and 1 new station, Heart Extra, on Digital One).

Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, said: “What shines through this new listening data is the continuing and unstoppable shift to digital listening. We have seen record quarters for leading BBC and Commercial digital-only stations BBC 6 Music and Absolute 80s and digital listening on the BBC’s iconic stations Radio 3 and Radio 4 rising towards 50%. With the listening benefits of the 16 new digital-only stations launched in March still to come later this year we can see a clear path through to the majority of listening being digital.”

More information

Digital Radio UK
Digital radio marketing body

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