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Ofcom Publishes Latest Report on Progress of Digital Radio in the UK

Report is based primarily on research done by RAJAR and Ofcom’s own consumer research

LONDON�Ofcom has released its sixth annual report on the progress of digital radio in the UK. �It is intended to provide an update on the availability, take-up, listening patterns, and attitudes towards digital radio, as requested by Government in 2010 as part of the Digital Radio Action Plan.�

The report is based primarily on research done by RAJAR and Ofcom�s own consumer research.� You can read the entire reporthere; below I�ve picked the salient points from the document for you.�


�������Digital radio services are available through a number of platforms: DAB, television and internet, but coverage varies.Services on local digital multiplexes are estimated to reach 77.8% of homes and 70.7% of major roads. National BBC DAB services are now available to 96.4% of UK households and 86.3% of major roads and national commercial DAB services are available to 89.8% of UK homes. Television services which also carry digital radio services are available to 99% of households, while digital radio via the internet is available to all who own internet-enabled devices.

�������The number of local DAB digital radio services available varies across the UK.In total there are 283 radio stations broadcasting on DAB. Of these, 14 are UK-wide commercial services and 11 are BBC UK-wide stations. The new national commercial multiplex will provide a further 15 services.

Up Take

������� Nearly all households are able to receive digital radio services. Ninety-six per cent of households have televisions which give them the ability to listen to digital radio, compared to 80% through their broadband connection, and over half (54%) have a DAB radio set.

������� The number of digital radios sold in the year to Q3 2015 has fallen slightly year over year. Of the total number of radio sets sold, 1.6 million were capable of receiving DAB signals.

������� Nearly three-quarters (73.4%) of newly registered cars are now equipped with DAB as standard equipment. This represents a year-over-year increase of 16.4 percentage points.

������� The highest rate of DAB radio ownership was in Surrey (62.7%). The lowest take-up rate was in Pembrokeshire (27.3%).

Digital listening

�������Digital radio accounted for 41.9% of total listening hours in Q3 2015.This is a year over year increase of 4.1 percentage points in digital radio�s share of total listening hours.

�������Digital share of listening has exceeded 50% in a local multiplex area for the first time.The share of total listening accounted for by digital platforms in Q3 2015 reached 50.5% in Nottinghamshire.

�������DAB is the most popular platform for digital listening.It accounted for 66.0% of digital listening in Q3 2015, while 12.0% of digital listening was through a television and 16.4% was via the internet. The remaining 5.6% of digital listening was not specified.

�������BBC stations accounted for over half of digital listening (52%),of which simulcasts of analogue BBC radio services contributed the most.

�������Five digital-only stations had an average weekly reach of more than a million listeners in the 12 months to Q3 2015.BBC 6 Music is the most popular digital-only service, with an average of 2.1 million listeners. Absolute 80s was the most popular commercial digital-only station, with an average weekly reach of 1.5 million listeners over the past year.�

�������Radio listeners in theAB socio-economic groupare most likely to listen via digital radio.Almost seven in ten (67.2%) of this group listen to digital radio on a weekly basis. By age group, digital radio listening was highest for 45-55s (62.0%).

Consumer awareness and attitudes

�������Eighty-six per cent of UK adults claimed in H2 2015 to have heard of digital radio.Awareness was the highest among males (90%), adults in the 35-44 and 45-54 age groups (both 92%) and among the AB socio-economic group (96%). It was lowest among those aged 65+ (76%) and those in the DE socio-economic group (75%).�