Notable Headway for DAB in U.K.

DAB in the United Kingdom now claims 20.4% of all radio listening hours, up from 18% in Q3 2011.

This according to a release issued by Digital Radio UK and based on figures published by RAJAR for the period ending September 2012. The results also showed that DAB now reaches 15.3 million adults in the U.K. on a weekly basis, up 10% from 13.9 million in Q3 2011, and DAB listening hours have reached 209 million, an increase of 8% year-on-year, representing 65.2% of all digital listening hours.

Other encouraging news is that 42% of the population in the U.K. today owns a DAB digital radio set, up from 39.4% in Q3 2011. Moreover, according to the release, the latest Q3 GfK digital radio sales data released in October, indicates that digital radio sales were up 10.6% in the quarter to September 2012.

Listening to digital radio platforms now accounts for 31.3% of radio listening hours, up from 26.9% the previous year, and weekly digital reach is today 46% of U.K. adults, or 51% of radio listeners.

Talk and music genre stations fared the best with Radio 4 Extra occupying the number one slot for digital-only stations and Radio 4 taking top place for digital stations by reach.

The Digital Radio UK statement also pointed out that listening to online/apps now shows a 4.2% share compared to 3.7% in Q3 2011, but down from 4.6% in Q2 2012. There was thus a 17% drop in online listening hours at work in the quarter, possibly due to the Olympics effect, the release said.

“It is pleasing to see that DAB has reached record levels of hours, share and reach in this atypical Olympics quarter,” said Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK. “Digital stations are showing strong growth in reach, with spoken word and music genre stations performing particularly well.”


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There is a great deal of hype from vested interest about digital radio's progress (or rather lack of it) in the UK. The public are not stupid and the reasons for the slow uptake of DAB are widely published. The term "Emperor's clothes" springs to mind!
By Mike Terry on 10/29/2012

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