Monday, 20 May 2013

Growth of digital listening

The latest Rajar figures (Quarter 1 2013) show that half the UK population now listen to digital radio each week.  This includes listening online, and via television boxes and mobile phones etc. as well as, mainly, listening to DAB radios.

This is good news but does not mean that these people are ONLY using digital radio. At work, in the car or elsewhere they may still be using FM or AM radio, and some of their favourite local stations may not even be available on DAB.   While digital listening has seen a healthy 17% rise year-on-year, to 34.3% of all listening hours, this means the great majority of radio listening is still on FM or AM.
And, before we start to plan the FM switch-off again, remember that in many markets the most popular single station is not even available on DAB. And with the closure of some local and regional multiplexes, to make way for more national channels, these local services are not likely to be able to appear on DAB in the foreseeable future.

There are some good examples from the UKRD stable where stations from Wessex FM to 2BR to Yorkshire Coast Radio, and others, each now achieve a weekly reach of around 50% of their local population on FM – but cannot be efficiently moved onto DAB.

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