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Radio revenue up, listening slides

Commercial radio increased its total revenue last year, despite local stations losing almost 5 per cent of their total hours.

The Communications Market report by Ofcom also shows listening amongst the under 25s has dropped by over 10% in five years; only the over 55s are listening to more radio.

The report, which covers all areas of Ofcom's remit including tv, radio and telecommunications, also states that over a quarter of all adults have a digital radio in their homes.

However, local commercial radio is failing to attract new audiences and all demographics under the age of 55 are listening less than they did five years ago.

The report covers radio listening up to the end of 2007. The key points include:

– [b]A rise in commercial radio revenue in 2007, up by almost 2% to £522m, despite a 2.6% fall in commercial listening hours in the year [/b]

This drop was a result of a fall in local commercial radio listening (-4.5%) which was partly offset by gains for the national commercial stations (+3.2%), following the growth of digital radio platforms.

– [b]Younger people are listening to less radio, with listening among 4-24 year olds down by 7.8% in 2007 and by 10.6% over five years.[/b]

The only age group in which listening has increased since 2002 is the over 55s, up by 2.3%.

-[b] Digital radio continued to grow in the year, with 27% of adults now having access to a DAB set in the home, up by 7 percentage points in the year to Q1 2008. [/b]

Digital radio accounted for 17.8% of all radio listening in Q1 2008, up from 12.8% in Q2 2007 (when RAJAR first started measuring digital listening).

A majority of digital listening was via DAB, which accounted for 11% of all listening, but digital television (3%) and the internet (2%) also featured.

In addition, RAJAR estimates that 6.0 million people have now listened to at least one podcast; and 14.5m had listened to radio via the internet by May 2008.

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