LONDON — Digital listening across the UK has edged closer to 50% and reached a new record share of 47.2%, up from 44.1% in Q1 2016, according to RAJAR Q1 2017 data released on May 18.
Digital listening hours grew by 9%, or 39.5 million hours, as compared to Q1 2016, boosted by strong growth of 1.2 million additional digital listeners with 66% of all radio listeners now listening on a digital platform.
Ten areas in the UK now have over 50% digital listening share, led by Nottinghamshire* at 55.7%, followed by Herts/Beds/Bucks, London, Leeds, Swindon and West Wiltshire, Surrey, Bristol, Sussex, Reading & Basingstoke, and Somerset, while three age demographics, the 25-34 year olds, the 35-44 year olds and the 45-54 year olds, all have digital listening over 50%.
Over-the-air DAB radio listening has grown by 11% to a record 33.8% of all radio listening and 71.5% of all digital listening. Digital listening via online/apps now accounts for 8% of all radio listening and 16.9% of digital listening, while digital television accounts for 5.5% of radio listening and 11.6% of digital listening.
Digital listening has grown across both national and local stations. National digital listening is already over 50% and has increased to 55.3%, whereas local digital listening has grown to 32.8% and is increasing faster than national digital listening, with 12.8% growth year over year. Commercial radio and BBC have both grown digital listening share to 47.6% and 46.7% respectively, with commercial radio growing digital listening hours by 15% following the launch of new national and local digital stations in the past year.
Q1 2017 saw the highest-ever recorded proportion of in-car radio listening, accounting for 23.5% of all radio listening, with growth supported by the increase of in-car digital radio. 87% of new cars now come with DAB as standard equipment (Q1 2017 CAP/SMMT). In this quarter, in-car digital listening hours grew by 33% year-over-year to 64.3 million hours, from 48.2 million hours, in Q1 2016.