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Best ever digital audience

The percentage of people living in a DAB household has grown from 11.1% at the end of 2005 to 13.6% in Quarter 1, 2006, according to the latest RAJAR figures.

The popularity of DAB digital radio continues to grow, and the DRDB (Digital Radio Development Bureau) recently announced cumulative sales of over three million sets. Listening across all digital platforms, including DAB, DTV and the Internet is up in all categories.

According to RAJAR, 4.425 million people listen to digital only radio services, delivering 23.972 million radio hours ? its highest reach since RAJAR began tracking digital listening in 2003. 11.4% of all listening is now via a digital platform.

This quarter, Five Live Sports Extra from the BBC saw its best ever audience with 613,000 listeners, up 48% year-on-year. BBC 6 Music, BBC World Service, 1Xtra and BBC 7 also saw increases in listenership year-on-year.

National commercial DAB station Planet Rock from GCap Media ? Sony?s new Digital Terrestrial Station of the Year, reports 461,000 listeners, up 61% year-on-year, its best ever numbers.

Emap?s digital radio station 3C ? Continuous Cool Country, reported for the first time on RAJAR with 109,000 listeners nationally. Also new to RAJAR is FUN Radio for pre-schoolers reporting in with 34,000 listeners. Another recent newcomer is Virgin Radio Xtreme whose audience went up from 82,000 in December 05 to 96,000 this quarter.

Other commercial digital radio services showing growth year-on-year include Capital Disney, Capital Life, Core (all GCap Media); Heat, The Hits (Emap); and Oneword (Channel 4/UBC).

DRDB Chief Executive, Ian Dickens says: ?As sales of DAB digital radios continue to grow, and more people are listening to the unique services on offer, it proves the point that digital technology delivers better radio in more places, and that is the recipe for a mass market medium.?

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