DAB growth boosts digital listening to 40%

• DAB listening and ownership grew in Q2 2015 boosting all digital listening to nearly 40% (39.94%)

• Strong DAB listening hours growth of 13% year on year propelled total digital listening hours to 10.6% year on year growth

• Over half of all UK households (50.9%) now have a DAB radio for the first  time with 27 mil-lion adults having access to  DAB

• 55% of all listeners (30 million people) listen on digital platforms

• Listening to analogue radio declined to a new low of 53.7%

• Digital listening in cars grew by 48% year on year and now accounts for almost 17% of all in car listening

• In London digital listening extended its lead over analogue listening (47.3% vs 45.9%)

• Commercial radio enjoyed strong digital growth, attracting a higher digital share than the BBC for the first time (40.1% vs 39.5%)

• There were record-breaking performances by digital-only stations Absolute 80s and Kisstory

Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, said: “The Q2 2015 listening data is great news for digital radio and for DAB in particular. It demonstrates that the growth of digital listening and digital stations is the key source of growth in the sector and shows an accelerating growth of DAB which is eclipsing the other digital platforms. Clearly listeners love listening on DAB and that is why it is the key long term broadcasting platform for the future.”

The increasing popularity of DAB digital radio has boosted all digital radio listening to fractionally under 40% of all hours (39.94%), according to Rajar Q2 2015 data released today, with both DAB listening and ownership increasing year on year.

The number of hours listened to on DAB has increased by 13% year on year, and DAB remains the most popular platform with 26.7% listening share, up 10.8% year on year, and accounting for 70% of all digital listening. DAB ownership has increased to over half of all households (to 50.9% from 48.5% in Q2 2014), with 27 million adults now having access to a DAB receiver.

In total 30 million people or 55% of the population now listen on digital platforms. Listening via internet/apps has declined quarter on quarter but grew 6% year on year, whilst listening via DTV declined 1% year on year. Analogue listening continues to decline dipping to a new low of 53.7% share of all listening.

Driven by car manufacturers’ decision to fit DAB as standard in 70% new cars (CAP/SMMT July 2015), digital listening in cars continues to accelerate, growing by 48% year on year to just under 17% (16.9%) of all listening in cars.

London continues to be the most digital region, with digital listening widening its lead over analogue in the region to 1.4%, with 47.3% share compared to analogue’s 45.9%.

The leading digital-only station is BBC 6 Music with 2.06 million listeners, re-establishing its lead over BBC Radio 4 Extra (1.95 million). BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra attracted a record audience of 1.62million, a growth of 77% year on year. Overall almost 56% (55.7%) of BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra’s audience was on a digital platform.

Commercial radio enjoyed strong digital growth, attracting a higher digital share than the BBC for the first time (40.1% vs 39.5%), and led by record-breaking performances by Bauer’s Absolute 80s and Kisstory.

Absolute 80s is the No 1 commercial digital only station growing by 29% to a new record of 1.6 million listeners, closely followed in second place by sister station, Kisstory, which grew by 33% to 1.5million listeners. The majority of Bauer Radio’s listening is via digital (53.3%) with Absolute Radio boasting 79% of its listening to digital platforms.

Meanwhile, Global Radio’s LBC, having launched nationally on D1 in 2014, showed strong digital growth of 41% to 771k digital listeners. Capital XTRA grew on digital platforms by 27% to 511k digital listeners, whilst the Gold Network grew by 22% to 612k digital listeners with over 50% of its listeners being digital for the first time (51.6%).

Source: RAJAR/ Ipsos – MORI/ RSMB, period ending June 2015, all stations and groups’ results are reported on their specified reporting period and TSA.