6 Music returns to the top digital spot

BBC Radio 6 Music is back on top as the UK’s most popular digital-only radio station, with a record 2.2m listeners this quarter.

RAJAR reports BBC Radio 4 Extra, which had the most listeners last survey, drops slightly from 2.2m to 2.1m.

Helen Boaden, Director of BBC Radio, said: “This is yet another fantastic and well-deserved quarter for BBC Radio 6 Music. With its unique range of music and expert presenters, the station continues to grow its loyal listenership. It’s good to see digital listening to BBC stations in such great health. One of radio’s strengths is its convenience and digital devices make listening even easier.”

There was strong growth for commercial digital stations with Absolute 80s retaining its position as the No 1 commercial digital-only station growing by 12% to 1.59m listeners. Kisstory grew year on year by 34% to 1.4m listeners ahead of its national expansion on the second national commercial digital radio multiplex.

In its first RAJAR period Global station Radio X recorded 1.2m listeners an increase of 30% year on year over XFM listeners in Q4 2014. Digital listening to Radio X increased by 55% versus XFM digital listening in Q4 2014 boosted by Radio X going onto the D1 DAB Network in September 2015.

Five major radio brands in dual transmission now have digital listening accounting for the majority of listening: Absolute Radio Network – 78%, Magic – 56%, Kiss – 55%, Gold – 54%, BBC Radio 5 live (incl. Sports Extra) – 56%, In Q4 2015 LBC digital listening increased by 17% to nearly 50% (49.8%) from 44% last year.

Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, said: “Digital listening continues to grow by 10% per annum and is closing the gap on analogue listening. Digital listening to national stations is already over 50% and we expect to see that accelerate with the biggest ever launch of national commercial stations this Spring. This is a massive moment for radio and listeners, and with this explosion of choice there has never been a better time to listen to digital radio at home or in the car.”

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