The Media in Figures: Digital radio 2013

DURING the 12 months to the end of June, over a third (33.9 per cent) of all radio listening hours was via digital radio, across various platforms such as DAB, digital TV and the internet or ‘apps’.

Says broadcasting regulators, Ofcom, in its annual digital radio report for 2013, 33.9 per cent was up 11.2 per cent on the same period in 2010 and 4.4 per cent, year-on-year.

Other figures reported by Ofcom include the following:

* Of stations that are only available through digital platforms, four had at least one million listeners in an average week in the 12 months to Q2 2013. BBC 6 Music had the largest number of listeners at 1.74 million; followed by BBC Radio 4 Extra, which reached 1.66 million listeners; and 1Xtra from the BBC, which reached 1.1 million listeners. Commercial radio station Absolute 80s increased its reach by 16.7 per cent to 1.01 million in the year to June 2013.

* DAB digital radio sets were the most widely-used means of listening to digital radio, accounting for 64.9 per cent of all digital listening hours in the year to the end of June 2013.

* The share of digital listening accounted for by online and ‘apps’ grew by 1.6 percentage points to 14.9 per cent, while the proportion accounted for by digital TV fell slightly (down by 0.6 percentage points) to 15 per cent year on year.

* Over a third (33.4 per cent) of all radio sets sold in the year to the end of June 2013 included a DAB tuner, compared to 28.7 per cent a year earlier.

* A total of 5.6 million radio sets were sold in this period, a fall of 14.3 per cent, year-on-year.

* Sales of DAB sets remained steady (1.9 million in 2012 and 2013) while sales of analogue sets fell by one million units, year-on-year, to 3.7 million.

* The proportion of people that claimed to have a DAB digital radio set at home was 45.7 per cent at the end of June 2013, an increase of four percentage points year on year. Ownership of digital sets varies across the UK, ranging from 54.4 per cent in Surrey to 18.1 per cent in the Border region.

* Almost four in ten (38.3 per cent) of new cars are now fitted with DAB as standard, an increase of almost a third on the proportion in Q2 2012.

Source: Ofcom, Digital Radio Report, September 25 2013.