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Industry News

Published on February 7th, 2019 | by The GC Team

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Commercial radio and in-car drive digital listening growth

Digital listening has reached a new record share of 52.6%, up from 49.9% in Q4 2017 due to strong growth of national commercial stations and digital listening in car.

According to RAJAR Q4 2018 data, digital listening accounts for 51.5% of all BBC radio and 53.9% of commercial radio listening.  Commercial radio’s digital share has increased as the availability and number of digitally distributed national commercial stations continues to grow.

The digital listening share has now stood at more than 50% for four consecutive quarters.

Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, said: “The growth of digital listening and launch of new digital stations is providing a platform for growth for all broadcasters and we welcome the increasing levels of digital radio content innovation and investment.

“We look forward to the listening data for Q1 2019 which will reflect the massive surge in smart speaker sales and usage post-Christmas and the impact of the new stations and schedules launched in January.”

Key points

  • Digital listening to national commercial stations increased by 13.9 million hours (or 10.3%) year on year, and now accounts for 80% of all national commercial listening.
  • In-car digital listening grew by 15 million hours or 19% year on year and reached a new record share of 37.5% of all in-car listening. 
  • 93% of new cars sold now come with DAB as standard and an additional 2.36 million new vehicles were registered with DAB as standard in 2018, according to CAP/SMMT data for Q4 2018.
  • DAB remains the most popular digital platform, accounting for a record share of 38.3% of all radio listening or 72.7% of all digital listening.
  • 65% of the population now own a DAB radio at home compared to 62.3% in the same quarter last year.
  • Listening hours via online/apps grew by 6.6% year on year, to account for 9.4% of all radio listening and 17.8% of digital listening.
  • Listening via digital television now accounts for 5% of radio listening and 9.4% of digital listening.

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