Digital takes gold medal at Rajars
One of the most interesting themes to come out of this quarter’s RAJAR results was the news that digital radio has hit 40% listening share in London for the first time, up a healthy 10% year-on-year.
After months, nay years, of having to defend itself against accusations of failing (the BBC’s head of audio Tim Davie recently admitted that digital radio marketing was previously a total mess), the digital radio industry trade bodies finally have something to crow about.
Whilst digital platforms still only account for a third of listening hours nationally (31.5%), there has been a consistent rise in both listener hours and share over the last year. From digital listening in cars (now reaching 5 million people a week) to online listening (which reported a healthy 37% increase on 2011), the proliferation of digital radio is clear to see.
Initiatives such as the listen-again service Radioplayer and apps such as Kiss FM’s KissKube have enabled consumers to listen to radio on any device at any time, and importantly, the strongest age group for digital listening is 15-24 year-olds.
According to the government’s Digital Radio Action Plan, the digital radio switchover will only happen once the format’s national listening average hits 50%, so there’s still a very long way to go. But this target, which seemed out of reach just a year ago, now looks like it will inevitably be hit.
As long as the radio industry keeps listening to the consumer and constantly innovates in the way digital radio can be listened to on every screen and device available, I think digital radio good news stories will become a regular feature of RAJARs for many quarters to come.
James Matheson is a director at Braben.