Listening boost for top 20 digital stations
It was announced at this week’s Radio Festival in Salford that that the top 20 digital stations in the UK had seen digital listening surge by 18% in the last year, according RAJAR in Q3 2011. There are now 14 radio stations with more than one million digital listeners, including four digital-only stations.
The top 20 stations are led by the BBC national stations, which showed strong digital growth. The top commercial digital stations are Heart and Capital, which have gained from the rollout of their national networks on digital distribution. Last year, Capital was a London-only station, but now it is available to 80% of the population and its digital listening has grown by +359%. The four digital-only stations with weekly digital audiences greater than one million are Radio 4 Extra, BBC 6 Music, BBC 5 Live Sports Extra and Absolute 80s. In the last year, these digital stations have enjoyed outstanding growth of +42.6%. There are a further three digital-only stations in the top 20 with audiences just under one million; The Hits, Radio 1 Xtra and Smash Hits. The national institution that is the World Service has become a digital success story, with an increase of 75.6% to listeners tuning in on digital platforms.
Digital Radio UK CEO Ford Ennals said; ‘’almost 50% of listeners now listen to digital radio every week and that we have seen digital listening grow overall by 14% year on year, and by 18% for the top 20. Listeners love the 25 plus digital-only stations, but also love listening to their favourite FM stations on digital radio.”
Digital listening growth is expected to accelerate as a major communications campaign is launched, DAB coverage is extended and availability in-car increases.
Watch an interview with Digital Radio UK CEO Ford Ennals here.