Following record sales figures for DAB digital radio sets late last year, RAJAR today confirmed more and more listeners are tuning in to DAB digital broadcasts.
This will be seen as welcoming news for many commercial digital radio stations who have been struggling to make inroads commercially. National digital radio stations that have closed recently include GCap Media’s Core, UBC’s Oneword and Virgin Radio’s Groove.
Many Asian broadcasters have just launched or are in the process of launching new DAB services. ZEE Network’s first radio station ZEE Radio launches in February as a digital-only service (with selected hours on 558AM). Asian FX primarily targeted to young Brit Asians in the Midlands is in soft launch mode and is expected to fully go live also next month.
RAJAR’s figures show that DAB digital radio is the digital platform of choice for the majority of the UK listening audience.
In the UK, 16.6% of all radio listening is now via a digital platform, of which 9.9% is via DAB , 3.1% via DTV and 1.9% via the Internet.
DAB ownership is up 40% year on year with 22.3% of adults in the last quarter of 2007, claiming to own a receiver.
Commercial radio leads the way in digital radio with 19.2% of all adults listen to a commercial service every week via a digital platform.
The BBC’s director of audio and music, Jenny Abramsky says; “The BBC is delighted to see the latest RAJAR figures showing DAB digital radio listening and reach is growing. With nearly 6.5 million DAB radios sold, the digital platform is winning converts at a steady rate. DAB is now contributing significant reach and share for radio. Our digital only stations 6 Music, 1Xtra and BBC7, have all done particularly well this quarter.”
Asian FX’s Managing Director Surjit Ghuman, who also runs the hugely successful Panjab Radio on various digital radio platforms is optimistic about this latest digital radio trend. “I’m pleased with today’s news and glad that listeners are experimenting and accessing stations that are digital-only. DAB offers much more variety, which was lacking previously. A station like Asian FX fills the gap in the Midlands market. All we need now are more sources of advertising revenue.”