Nearly 40% of radio listening is now on digital with record audiences for digital-only commercial stations including Absolute 80s and Planet Rock. While early hopes of a 2017 digital radio switchover were dashed by slow uptake, Digital Radio UK chief executive, Ford Ennals, said: “The surge of digital listening to almost 40% share is a landmark moment for digital radio, and shows the achievability of the 50% listening criterion set by government for a radio switchover.”
Carmakers are watching closely the growth of digital radio across Europe so that they can plan their in-car receiver products for both entertainment and the delivery of traffic data for use by navigation systems. Ultimately, FM radio will be switched off across Europe and SBD’s quarterly Connected Car Government Guide provides updates in the latest position in the Member States.
Digital listening share reaches a landmark of almost 40% of all hours (39.6%), up 8.2% year on year, with 54% of UK listeners listening on a digital platform each week, according to Rajar Q1 2015 data released today. Digital hours now top a record 403 million each week, up 6.4% year on year.
Broadcasters and automakers gathered together at the WorldDMB European Automotive Event in Brussels to discuss the role that the automotive industry plays in the development of digital radio. Broadcasters asked the European Commission to ensure sufficient spectrum for the provision of digital radio in the belief that the Band III should remain the band dedicated to digital radio in Europe.
Southern Cross Austereo has announced its country music station, The range, will now be heard on digital radio. The station, which plays "the biggest country hits from the nineties to today," is now available on DAB+ in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane as well as on FM and via The Range website and app across Australia.
The BBC’s latest pop up digital radio station has launched, with BBC Radio 2 Eurovision on air until midnight Sunday night. It’s the second year the Radio 2 spin-off has appeared on DAB radios to broadcast build-up and coverage of the Eurovision Song Contest, which this year is being held in Vienna.
Digital Radio DAB + will start with 14 programs in Greater Vienna on May 28. The digital programs in Greater Vienna will include Radio Arabella, Radio RJ, Lounge FM and Radio Maria.
BBC Radio 4 Extra is now the UK’s biggest digital-only radio station after adding more than half a million weekly listeners in the last 12 months. The comedy and drama station now has a reach of 2.17 million, up from 1.72m in Q4/14 and 1.66m in Q1/14. It’s the first time ever that Radio 4 Extra’s audience has gone above the 2m mark.
There are a number of DAB digital radio changes, including the addition of a further BBC Radio service in Northern Ireland, a change to Kiss in South Essex and details about the forthcoming BBC Radio 2 Eurovision service.
Volkswagen is launching a DAB digital radio network across its van range. According to the brand it is the first commercial vehicle network to be fully accredited by DAB authority Digital Radio UK. The choice of units has been developed with leading consumer electronics manufacturer and in-vehicle DAB pioneer Pure.