Digital listening share has increased to 56%, up from 50.2% in Q2 2018, boosted by the growing popularity of smart speakers and listening online and via apps, according to RAJAR Q2 2019 data released today.
Across all platforms digital listening grew by 58.9 million hours or 11.6% year on year. Listening via online and apps grew by 32.3 million hours (or by 34.2%) to now account for 12.5% of all listening and 22% of digital listening. Listening via DAB grew by 23.9 million hours (or by 6.5%) year on year to now account for 38.6% of all listening and 69% of digital listening. Listening via DTV grew by 2.8 million hours (or by 5.9%) year on year to now account for 4.9% of all listening and 8.8% of digital listening.
26% of adults now claim to own a voice activated speaker, and 56.5% of those use the device to listen to live radio. This has boosted online listening in home, which is now the fastest growing platform and location, increasing by 27.7 million hours (or by 44%) year on year to account for 15% of all in home listening.
In car digital listening grew 17.1 million hours or by 20% year on year and reached a new record share of 41.8%.
There was strong growth year on year across digital-only stations with KISSTORY increasing by 14.8% to reach a new record of 2.323 million listeners and become the most popular digital-only station. BBC 6 Music is the leading BBC digital-only station reaching 2.285 million listeners, while BBC Radio 4 Extra grew by 13.1% to reach 2.223 million listeners and BBC Radio 5 Live sports extra grew by 26.5% to reach 1.484 million listeners.
Having increased its reach year on year threefold last quarter, Virgin Radio, in the second quarter since the return of The Chris Evans Breakfast Show, grew by a further 18.8% compared to Q1 2019, to reach 1.545 million listeners.
Further commercial digital-only stations growing strongly year on year include Absolute 80s which grew by 15.8% to reach a new record of 1.779 million listeners; Heart 80s which increased by 27.7% to reach a new record of 1.495 million listeners; Planet Rock which grew by 16% to reach 1.213 million listeners; Mellow Magic which grew by 21.5% to reach 593,000 listeners; and talkRADIO which grew by 31.3% to reach 386,000. On their first RAJAR survey period new commercial digital-only stations Scala Radio and Country Hits Radio recorded 258,000 and 208,000 listeners respectively.
Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, said:
“This is a significant moment for digital radio with a 34% surge in online radio listening hours prompted by the growth of smart speakers. These speakers are now in over 26% of all homes and are good news for the radio sector with most people using them to listen to live radio. Smart speakers also make it easy for people to listen to the increasing range of digital stations and have helped propel the growth of new innovative digital stations such as the new number one digital-only station, KISSTORY.”
Source: RAJAR/Ipsos MORI/RSMB
Life’s always better when the radio’s on.
And with digital radio … it can be even better!
So why miss out on your favorite digital stations when you get in your car?
If you don’t have DAB digital radio in your car, you can listen to your favorite station or radio app by connecting your smartphone to your car stereo with an aux in cable, a USB connection or via Bluetooth and take all the stations you enjoy at home with you on the road.
Download your favourite station's mobile app such as Absolute Radio, Scala Radio or Radio X, or your preferred radio and audio mobile app such as Global Player, BBC Sounds or Radioplayer, on your smartphone and then listen through your car stereo by connecting your smartphone one of the following ways:
Most cars feature a 3.5mm aux in jack, either on the stereo unit or underneath it. This allows you to plug in an aux in or lightning cable from your smartphone directly into your stereo.
You can buy an aux in or lightning cable in store and online at retailers including Currys, Argos, Halfords and Amazon.
Most newer cars now come with built-in Bluetooth. You can connect your phone to your car’s Bluetooth by pairing it like you would any other device, and listen to your favourite station via app.
Bluetooth is convenient because once paired, your phone will automatically connect to your car and it also has the benefit of allowing hands-free calling.
Lots of cars now come with a USB connection. This allows you to connect your phone to listen to your favourite station and radio app - as well as charge up your device.
You’ll need a USB cable that you keep in your car, and depending on your device, this could be a lightning cable, a micro USB cable or a USB-C cable. Find the one that's right for your smartphone in store and online at retailers including Currys, Argos, Halfords and Amazon.
If your car has a USB connection, it is a great way to listen to radio via your smartphone. Not only does it provide a reliable connection and clear audio, it also charges your device and lets you make hands-free calls at the same time.
Safety first. Remember to keep your focus on the road at all times and it is illegal to hold a phone while you are driving - you must have hands-free access. Find out more from GOV.UK here and further guidance from the RAC here.