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UK: Digital Radio Closes in On Majority of Total Listening

Ofcom report indicates a near four-percentage point growth in Q3 over 2015 in total listening

The seventh annual Digital Radio Report from Ofcom has been released, and it shows that digital radio is inching closer to the 50 percent majority needed to initiate a FM switch-off.

According to the report, 45.5 percent of total listening in Q3 2016 came from digital radio, a 3.6 percentage point increase from 2015. In six areas throughout the United Kingdom the digital share exceeded 50 percent, with the highest coming from Sussex at 53.4 percent. The findings also point out that DAB continues to be the most popular platform for digital listening, accounting for 70.3 percent, and BBC stations are the most listened to at 52.8 percent.

Another element necessary to mandate the switchover is being able to reach 90 percent of the population and all major roads. Per the report, the population number has been achieved, with 90 percent of homes receiving local DAB, National BBC DAB services reaching 97.3 percent, national commercial DAB services through the Digital One Network reaching 91.5 percent and the Sound Digital Limited network, launched in March, reaching 76.5 percent of homes. As for roads, BBC services reach up to 87.3 percent of major roads and local DAB reaches approximately 76 percent.

Additional findings include the report that 13 percent of radio listeners who did not have a DAB set in their home said they were likely to buy one in the next year.

For the full report, click here