BBC 6 Music has been chasing Radio 3 in the last few quarters, and today actually took over them in terms of people listening.
6 Music has attracted 1.89m people listening on digital radio only, whilst BBC Radio 3, which has a full network of FM transmitters across the country pulls in 1.8m.
The figures are due to Radio 3’s 5.6% year on year loss, and 6 Music’s renewed popularity since it was suggested for closure. The nearest commercial competitor on digital-only is Absolute 80s which pulls in 1.24m this quarter, its highest ever.
Absolute 80s owner Bauer Media now has over half of its listening across the group via a digital device.
In the second RAJAR since switching DAB transmission from national Digital 1 to London-only, Jazz FM has added 49,000 new listeners, an increase of 10% quarter on quarter. Of its 549,000 listeners, 34% now listen online. This time last year, the station had a national audience of 758,000.
Overall, radio listening to analogue stations has fallen to its lowest ever share at 56.6% in Q2 2014, down from 58.6% year on year. In the home, analogue listening share has now fallen to 45.6% from 48.4% in Q2 2013, and is nearly equal with digital listening share (45.1%).
Unattributed listening (digital/analogue) has increased from 4.6% to 6.6% year on year whilst digital radio listening share remains flat at 36.8% year on year.
Radio listening online or via apps increased share to 6.2%, up by 2% year on year, while listening on digital TV declined to 4.8%, a decrease in hours of 10% year on year. In-car listening now accounts for 22% of radio listening hours, and a record 11.7% of hours are now listened to on digital, up 12% year on year, supporting DAB growth.
And 48.5% of the population or 26 million adults now have access to a DAB digital radio, up 7% year on year.
Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, says: “Digital listening held steady in Q2 2104 but there has been a huge shift in radio listening over the last few years. This is highlighted by the decline in analogue listening to 56.6% which is even more extreme in home, where analogue and digital listening share are now nearly equal. For digital listening to increase to the next level will require significantly more growth in digital listening in car, as well as for local DAB coverage to be expanded towards FM equivalence and for more national digital-only stations to be launched.”