Quarter of radio listening in UK is now via digital

Ofcom’s second annual Digital Radio Report has been published in Britain, showing just over a quarter (26.5%) of all radio listening hours were to services delivered over a digital platform. This is a 2.5% increase in digital listening over the year and an 8.7% increase over the past three years. 63% of digital listeners hear digital radio on a DAB radio set, while 15% listen through digital tv sets and 14% listen on the internet. Digital listening is now over one million listeners per week in the UK.


The proportion of digital listening varies by demographic group. Listeners under 65 and those from more affluent demographic groups are the most likely to listen to radio over a digital distribution platform. Digital listening is less prevalent among those over 65, and among the less affluent.


Digital radio services are available through a number of different platforms including DAB digital radio, digital television (Sky, Freeview, Virgin Media, Freesat), and via the internet (which includes services received on PCs, radio sets and tablet devices with a WiFi connection, and internet-enabled mobile phones).



A total of 8.5 million radio devices were sold in past 12 months; just over a fifth (22%) included a DAB tuner. Nearly 13 million DAB digital radio devices in total had been sold in the UK by the end of that period.

More than one third (38.2%) of households in Q1 2011 claimed to have access to DAB digital radio, up by 3.7% year on year.


A decision to switch off analog and switchover to digital in the UK will only be made once two criteria had been fulfilled:

–      when 50% of all radio listening is via digital platforms; and

–      when national DAB coverage is comparable to FM, and local DAB reaches 90% of the population and all major roads.


Click the link below to download and read the full report.