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U.K.: Ofcom Releases Annual Digital Progress Report

Digital radio eclipses 50% total listening in one local area

United Kingdom-based Ofcom has released its annual Digital Radio Report, which monitors the use of digital radio (DAB, TV, Internet) and helps determine if and when a total switchover could take place.

The requirements to discuss a total switchover include when 50% of all radio listening is done through digital platforms and when national DAB coverage is comparable to FM and local DAB reaches 90% of the population and all major roads.

The report indicates that digital radio continues to be offered by more services, and that those services are becoming more available to listeners. Services on local digital multiplexes currently reach about 78% of homes and 71% of major roads. Approximately 96% of U.K. households and 86% of roads are capable of receiving the National BBC’s DAB services; national commercial DAB services are available in 89% of homes. In total, there are 283 radio stations throughout the U.K. that broadcast on DAB.

As for total listening, the report finds that digital radio accounted for 41.9% of total listening hours in the third quarter of 2015, an increase of 4.1% year over year. Also, for the first time a local multiplex area has exceeded 50% of total listening through digital platforms, accounting for 50.5% in Nottinghamshire. Across all of the U.K., DAB is the most popular form of digital listening, accounting for 66% in Q3.

The report also indicates that the market is expected to continue to grow, with 14% of radio listeners without a DAB set in their home likely to buy one within the next year.

To see the full report, click here.