More people are tuning into radio at home through digital than analogue broadcasting, marking a milestone towards the digital switchover.
According the latest Rajar listening figures, the proportion of in-home radio listening via digital platforms such as digital audio broadcasting (DAB) radios grew to 46.2% in the final three months of last year, overtaking analogue (45.6%).
Despite this shift in home radio listeners, the majority of listening (56.4%) remains on analogue, in large parts because of those tuning into AM and FM through their analogue car radio.
The number of new cars being fitted with DAB radio has grown considerably in recent years, however, which augurs well for the waning of analogue.
A second radio DAB multiplex is to be announced this year by Ofcom and will deliver around 15 new DAB stations from 2016. Bidders include a Bauer/UTV/Arqiva consortium that plans to bring back Virgin Radio.
Digital Radio UK, the body that oversees the development of digital radio in the UK, said analogue listening was now below 50% in London and the north-west of England. It said more than half the population (52%) now listens to radio on a digital platform every week.
Online radio listening continues to grow and is now at 4.9% of all radio listening – up from 4.7% a year ago but down from 5.6% in the previous quarter.
But radio listening via digital TV appears to be in decline. At 3.7% of all radio listening at the end of last year, it was down from 3.8% the previous quarter and 4% in the same period in 2013.
DTG Staff | 06.02.2015