RAJAR: Digital & DAB stations get bigger
The biggest digital only stations are continuing to grow this quarter, as Absolute 80s, 6 Music and The Hits all increase their audiences.
And overall, digital radio listening share has grown by 6% to a record high of almost 38% (37.8%).
BBC Radio 6 Music, the largest digital-only station, increases listening by 15% to a record of almost 2 million listeners, whilst Bauer’s Absolute Radio 80s, the largest commercial digital-only station, grows by 18% to a new record of 1.432 million listeners. Sister station Absolute Radio 90s is also doing well – it grows by 27% to a new record of 665k listeners and Absolute Radio 00s adds an extra 35,000 listeners taking it to 165,000.
The Hits has recovered from a dip last quarter, where it had 774,000 listeners. This quarter the station is back to 949,000. But the big news is that Ryan Seacrest’s heat now has more listeners than The Hits, with 965,000.
For the third quarter in succession, Jazz FM has increased its weekly audience to 553,000, growing by 11% in weekly reach since January, after its DAB transmission switched from national to London-only at the end of 2013.
In-car listening share on digital radio grows to a record 13.8% with a 53% growth in-car listening hours, reflecting the growth of DAB digital radio in new cars.
Over half of the population (51.2% of the UK or 27.4 million people) now listens to digital radio platforms each week.
Ownership of DAB digital radios continues to grow with 48.7% of the population or 26 million adults now having access to a DAB digital radio, up 8% year on year.
DAB remains the most popular platform for digital listening, with 250 million hours, up 6% year on year. DAB listening growth has been driven by the increase of DAB listening in-car.
Online/apps listening hours are up 12% year on year to 6.4% and radio listening on digital TVs declined by 4% to 5.0%.
Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, says: “Digital listening has grown to a new high of 37.8% driven by record performances of digital only stations and the strong growth of digital listening in cars. The future of UK radio is definitely digital and it is pleasing to see the success of the new innovative digital only stations with so many more drivers now enjoying them in their cars. Digital radio is good news for the radio sector and good news for listeners.”