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UK Sees Digital Listening Growth

Digital listening saw a 9 percent increase year-over-year

The results of audio measurement company Rajar’s Q3 2016 report are in and, according to Digital Radio UK, show that the United Kingdom has seen a growth in digital listening backed by a strong performance from digital-only stations. Digital listening (DAB, Internet or television) now has a 45 percent share — a 9 percent increase from Q3 2015 — and DAB accounts for 71 percent of all digital listening.

BBC 6 Music proved to be the most popular digital-only station, drawing in 2.34 million listeners weekly. BBC Radio 4 Extra was second behind it with 2.04 million weekly listeners. The top commercial station was Kisstory with 1.61 million weekly listeners, a jump of 23 percent from the same time period last year; the station’s national expansion in March likely had an impact on the results.

The U.K.’s second national DAB commercial network launched earlier this year, offering 18 additional national stations. This has contributed to a growth of 25 percent in digital listening hours nationally, for a total of 73 percent, according to Rajar. Digital listening for all stations went up 55 percent, but commercial stations have now pulled ahead of BBC stations 45.9 percent to 44.9 percent.

In addition, 51.5 percent of radio listening at home and at work is now on a digital platform, per the report. In-car listening, meanwhile, now totals 60 million hours — a growth of 39 percent—and now accounts for 25.4 percent of all listening in cars.

Additional findings include that digital listening accounts for 50 percent of all listening for the 15–24 and 35–44 age groups; DAB ownership is present in 57 percent of all households; digital listening via apps/online accounts for 18 percent of all digital listening, while digital TV makes up 11 percent.