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More and more people may be listening to internet radio, but stations online are barely attracting a greater share of listening hours than a…

More and more people may be listening to internet radio, but stations online are barely attracting a greater share of listening hours than a year ago. The internet’s share of UK radio listening hours in Q109 came in just 0.1 percent up from last year at just 2.2 percent, according to radio biz measurer Rajar. The number of people listening to any radio online is much higher (though unspecified), but plain ‘ol radio is left on for longer.

Rajar’s latest release says 20.1 percent of radio listening is on some kind of digital platform. That’s 12.7 percent via DAB, 3.4 percent via digital TV and 2.2 percent via internet. Although analogue, as the remainder, isn’t broken out, it’s clearly still going strong – the number of people aged 15+ who listened to radio of any kind for at least five minutes in a week rose to a record 90.2 percent of the UK population, reckons Rajar, whose methodology of asking listeners to keep a diary has frequently come under question.

The real story of Rajar’s latest quarterlies, however – the radio business is still having difficulty converting listeners over to digital en masse. Although the proportion of homes that now own a DAB set rose to 32.1 percent in Q109, the share of listeners commanded by the troubled platform rose just 1.8 percent from the year before. That likely reflects the majority of listening which is out of the home and in cars, where DAB has limited penetration thanks to spotty reception.

Meanwhile, the number of people who have listened over mobile phone rose from 11.6 percent to 13 percent. But mobile listening is far more popular with those aged 15 to 24, with 30.6 percent saying they have tuned in this way.

(Photo: LoopZilla, some rights reserved)

  1. These RAJARs results need to be qualified, minimally:

    1. Only live listening—excluding on-demand (listen later and archive), podcasts, and personalized tracklists (Last.fm, Spotify, Pandora). [Which are primarily Internet and not DAB].

    2. Measuring RAJAR subscribers, commercial and BBC (~340 stations)—under-detecting smaller, not-targeted others in the UK (~ 700 smaller commercial, community, student, hospital, pirate, and Internet-only) and Rest-of-World with larger scale of survey sampling. And under-recording by limiting others to diary write-in rather than pre-printed labels. [Which are pro-rata less DAB and more Internet].

    3. DAB platform measure includes FM listening on DAB/FM radios (which are predominant). [With diary choices: AM/FM Radio, DAB Digital Radio, Digital TV, or The Internet].

    Seems it could be Internet Total Listening = ~2% Live + ~2% Later, Podcasts & Tracklists + ~2% Other UK & RoW = ~6% Total Internet listening. And, seems it could be DAB Total Listening = ~12% Live DAB & FM – ~6% FM + ~0% Later, Podcasts & Tracklists + ~0% Other UK & RoW = ~6% Total DAB listening.


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