Digital radio listening reaches new record

Digital listening share has increased to a new record of 67.9%, up from 64.5% in Q4 2021, boosted by the growth of online listening including via smart speakers, according to RAJAR Q1 2022 data released today.  

Digital reach is also at a new record with 42 million adults, or 75% of the population, tuning in via a digital platform each week, up from 40 million or 72% in Q4 2021.

The growth in digital listening was driven by a surge in online listening which increased by 56.6 million hours - or by one third - to account for 22% of all listening and 33% of digital listening, compared to 17% and 26% respectively in Q4 2021. For the first time, online listening data for the new quarter has been split between smart speakers and website/apps, and shows that listening via website/apps accounts for 12% of all listening and 18% of digital listening, while listening via smart speakers accounts for 10% of all listening and 15% of digital listening.

Digital platforms now account for 72% of all commercial radio listening and 65% of all BBC radio listening. Listening via DAB remains the most popular platform for radio listening, accounting for 41% of all listening and 60% of digital listening, while listening via DTV accounts for 4.5% of all listening and 7% of digital listening.  Listening via analogue platforms now accounts for under a third (32%) of all radio listening.

Digital listening in home increased to 72%, up from 69% quarter on quarter, and digital listening in car increased to 54%, up from 51% quarter on quarter.

Many digital-only stations showed strong growth quarter on quarter, including the most popular digital-only station, BBC 6 Music, which grew by 9% to reach a new record of 2.846 million listeners, and BBC Radio 4 Extra, which increased by 4.4% quarter on quarter to reach 1.972 million listeners.

Further highlights among digital stations showing strong growth include Capital Dance, which increased by 35% to reach 800,000 listeners; Heart 90s which increased by 45.5% to reach 793,000 listeners; Mellow Magic which increased by 14% to reach 460,000 listeners; Jazz FM which increased by 7.5% to reach 456,000 listeners; Times Radio which increased by 40% to reach 703,000 listeners; Talk Radio which increased by 20% to reach 650,000 listeners; and Boom Radio which increased by 20% to reach 290,000 listeners. Newcomer and GB News simulcast, GB News Radio, attracted 239,000 listeners.