London leads the way on digital
The latest Q1 2014 listening data from Rajar confirms that the long term drive to digital listening continues, particularly in London, where analogue radio listening has fallen below 50% for the first time at 48.6%, down 10% year on year. Analogue listening in-home in London has now declined to 38.9% of listening, while digital listening in-home is 50.9% in London.
London leads the way in the UK with over 6.4 million listeners, or 55% of Londoners, listening to radio on digital radio platforms each week. London’s digital share is now 44.1% of radio listening hours, up 9% from 40.3% in Q2 2013.
The London increase in digital listening is led by strong digital growth by stations including LBC with their popular Radio Academy award-winning Ask Boris phone-in, Heart, Kiss, Smooth and Magic.
Nationally, analogue radio listening share is at its lowest ever, at 57.8% of all listening hours. Across the UK, digital listening via a digital platform is up 7% year on year, in terms of hours, and is now 36.6% up from 34.3% last year. 51% of the population now tunes in each week (27 million people) up 4% year on year.
DAB is the most popular device for digital listening (65% of all digital hours), and 47.9% of adults or 25 million adults have access to a DAB digital radio, up 10% year on year.
DAB share of listening is 23.7%, up 5% year on year, online/apps is 6.4%, up 27% year on year and DTV is 5%, flat year on year.
The most popular digital-only station is BBC 6 Music with over 1.9 million weekly listeners, and the most-listened to commercial digital-only station is Absolute 80s with 1.1 million weekly listeners. Digital station Planet Rock grew by 21% to 1.1 million listeners helped by the benefit of the station's introduction on FM in West Midlands.
There was strong digital growth from the major National networks - Smooth, Kiss, Heart and Capital. For the first time almost 50% of all listening to Bauer stations is on a digital platform, and 78% of listening to the Absolute Network of stations is to digital platforms.
Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, says: “The shift to digital listening continues, with London leading the way. The fact that in London analogue radio listening is now below 50% overall and analogue listening in home is under 40% shows a dramatic and sustained transformation in radio listening. London has benefited from the growth in digital coverage and strong station performance on digital and we would expect to see the rest of the country follow suit, following the build-out of digital coverage across the UK, and the national expansion of LBC, Heart, Smooth and Kiss.”