Digital radio platforms maintain predominant position

Digital radio platforms have maintained their predominant position to now account for 64.4%% of all radio listening, according to new data for Q4 2021 released by RAJAR today (03 February 2022). The new data is the second to be issued under RAJAR’s new modified methodology which was introduced in Q3 2021 when digital listening surged past 60%.

According to the new data, listening via DAB remains the most popular means of all radio listening accounting for 42.5% of all listening (and 66% of digital listening), exceeding listening via AM/FM which accounts for 35.6% of listening. Listening via online and apps accounts for 16.9% of all listening (and 26% of digital listening) and listening via DTV accounts for 5% of all listening (and 8% of digital listening).

The new data shows that 40 million adults, or 72% of the population aged 15+, now tune into digital radio every week, with strong growth compared to Q3 2021 seen across a number of digital stations. These include Planet Rock, which grew by 4.8% to reach a new record of 1.396 million listeners; Capital DANCE, which grew by 106% to reach 592,000 listeners; Smooth Radio Chill, which grew by 19% to reach 449,000 listeners; Absolute Classic Rock, which grew by 10% to reach 980,000 listeners; talkRADIO, which grew by 20% to reach 542,000 listeners; Absolute Radio 70s, which grew by 36% to reach 421,000 listeners; Capital XTRA Reloaded, which grew by 29% to reach 277,000 listeners; and Magic Chilled, which grew by 11% to reach 263,000 listeners.

These stations join a host of established digital-only stations which continue to perform strongly, including the most popular digital-only station BBC 6 Music with 2.604 million listeners, and KISSTORY, the most popular commercial digital-only station, with 2.301 million listeners.  BBC Radio 4 Extra is the third most popular with 1.889 million listeners, followed by Virgin Radio with 1.620 million listeners. Other stations in the top 10 digital-only stations include Absolute 80s (1.605 million listeners); Planet Rock (1.396 million listeners); Heart 80s (1.326 million listeners); BBC Radio 5 live sports extra (1.218 million); and Absolute Radio 90s (1.026 million).

Digital listening in car now accounts for 50.6% of all in car listening, with DAB in car accounting for 45.8% of listening and online/apps listening in car accounting for 4.8% of all in car listening.

Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, said:

“The Q4 2021 RAJAR listening data confirms the digital transformation of UK radio with 64.4% of UK radio listening being on a digital platform. DAB is the pre-dominant platform for radio listening and delivers 20% more hours of listening than FM & AM combined. It is really pleasing to see strong performances across the leading digital stations BBC 6 Music, KISSTORY and BBC Radio 4 Extra, and the growth of a diverse range of digital stations covering all genres and formats, from Capital DANCE to Smooth Radio Chill; talkRADIO and Times Radio to Planet Rock, Absolute Radio 70s and Boom Radio.”