RAJAR: More UK listeners tuning into radio on digital platforms

Angelo Anderson
May 17, 2018

Last year the show plunged to its lowest listening figures since he took over the slot, dropping below five million in the third quarter of 2017, the first time in his five-year tenure. After scrapping plans to shut down analogue radio in 2015, it announced it would only consider a full switchover when 50 per cent of people consumed radio digitally and 90 per cent of the population was covered. Digital platforms now account for the majority of all radio listening for the first time. It could cut off drivers with analogue auto radios and disenfranchise older wireless listeners.

She confirmed that the Government will "work closely with all partners - the BBC, commercial radio, (transmitter business) Arqiva, vehicle manufacturers and listeners" before committing to a timetable for analogue switch-off. "We look forward to continuing to work with broadcasters, the supply chain and Government on delivering radio's digital future and the upcoming digital radio review". But younger audiences have not inherited the habit of listening to "live" radio, even on digital.

"This is a landmark moment for for the radio industry and for listeners alike", said Ford Ennals, the chief executive of Digital Radio UK. "The digital transition is good news for radio and is helping our industry compete more effectively in a digital age".

Digital has boosted the popularity of "live" radio. The number of hours of DAB radio listening grew by 31m hours (8.9%) year on year in the first quarter, to 376m hours.

BBC listeners are ditching politics for classical music in the morning, according to official figures showing Radio 4's Today programme losing its audience while the Radio 3 breakfast show soars.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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