The digital revolution shows no signs of slowing down, and not even the radio airwaves are set to maintain their analogue tradition, as a new study suggests.
Figures produced by radio audience measurement organisation RAJAR imply that people listening to the radio through digital platforms has reached a total of nearly 27% of all UK audiences during 2011’s first quarter, with overall radio usage climbing to a record high.
This was reported as over 22.1 million weekly digital listeners, a 10.7% increase on the same measurement made last year, with the 26.9% percentage of digital users an increase of 0.4% on the previous quarter’s record alone.
RAJAR are also claiming that annual overall listening hours for digital services have also increased, with a 14.3% rise from 253m to 289m hours (both recorded at the year’s respective Q2).
Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) are clearly the most popular of the digital services, taking a total of 26.3%, though this share is down marginally from the previous quarter, and a good return from the 38.9% of UK residents who claim to own the necessary equipment for the DAB service.
Other figures showed that alternative radio methods are also in good demand, with digital TV radio through services such as Freeview and Sky responsible for 14.4% of all digital audiences in the quarter, and ‘Internet listening’ claiming a figure of 9.6%. Mobile phone radio came in with 14.5% for Q2.
An unofficial government agreement suggests that the ‘Digital Radio Switchover’ might begin in 2015, but it is thought that such a move is target-based, with at least half of all audiences using digital services before the move goes ahead. With a current 91.7% of the UK thought to listen to a radio each week, the service is not dying out as the growth of new content viewing methods would suggest, and it could take a lot to beat the majority that use analogue radio as a means of in-car entertainment, so how much will digital radio be able to grow from here?