Digital radio growth quickens

Rajar: The growth in people listening to radio on digital platforms quickened in the second quarter, according to the latest Rajar data.

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The percentage of people listening to radio stations via the internet, DAB radios and mobile grew to 26.9% of all radio listening in the three months to 30 June, up from 26.5% in the previous quarter and 24.6% in the same period last year.

The gains equate to a year on year increase in all listening hours of 14.3%, up from 10% in the previous quarter. The growth, however, is down significantly on the 20% year on year uplift registered in the final quarter of 2010.

The industry has recently pulled back from the 2015 target date that had been set for the digital switchover after recent growth failed to match expectations.

The percentage of people listening to radio on a digital platform each week slipped back to 42.5%, from 43.1% in the first quarter. The figure, however, was an increase on the 38.7% registered in the same period last year.

Digital listening hours increased to 289 million, up from 253 million in the same period last year.

The percentage of people listening to radio via the internet fell to 9.6 from 10.2% in the first quarter. It increased, however, from the 8.2% registered last year.

The industry will be hoping for a rapid increase in internet listening in the second half following the launch of online service Radioplayer.

DAB listening increased to 17.2%, from 16.7% last quarter and 15.8% last year.

Ford Ennals, chief executive of industry group Digital Radio UK, says: “Digital radio is showing solid and sustained progress overall, with a strong performance from DAB and digital radios now in 40% of homes.”

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