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Published on August 4th, 2016 | by The GC Team


Digital radio listening reaches new high

The expansion of digital radio station choice, including the launch of the second national DAB commercial network in March and strong in-car listening growth, has driven digital radio listening to a new high of 45.3%, according to Rajar Q2 2016 data released today.

The annual increase of 5.4% represents the highest ever percentage growth in digital listening since records began.

Growth was recorded across all digital platforms, with DAB’s share of listening increasing to 32.2% to account for over 71% of total digital listening. Online listening share rose to 8% and now accounts for 18% of digital listening, while DTV’s share grew to 5.1% and now accounts for 11% of digital listening.

Over all digital reach increased by 2.3 million listeners year on year.

In-car digital listening hours grew by 49% year on year, to 58 million hours from 39 million hours in Q2 2015. In-car now accounts for 24.5% of all listening, accelerated by the growth in the percentage of new cars now fitted with digital radio as standard to over 85% in Q2 2016 and the increased popularity of listening via smartphone. Over a million people now listen to digital radio via smartphone in their cars.

Digital listening to local stations exceeded 30% for the first time, growing to 31.4% from 26.8% in Q2 2015. Digital share of national station listening also continued to grow, increasing to 53.5% from 47.9% in Q2 2015.

Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, said: “Digital listening is now over 45% and heading for 50% with nearly 32 million people listening on a digital platform every week. The record-breaking growth of 5.4 percentage points in digital listening has been prompted by the expansion of consumer choice we have seen this quarter with the successful launch of 16 new digital stations on the second commercial national DAB network, Sound Digital.

“Other key factors in digital growth are the nearly 50% increase in digital listening in cars and the expansion of local DAB coverage, which has helped increase digital listening to local stations.”

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