Paper attributes drop in sales of radios to growth of online/mobile radio listening

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Issue Date: 
Oct 18 2012 - 9:00am

From Issue:

Ofcom -- the UK government's counterpart to the FCC in the U.S. -- has published its third "Digital Radio Report" as it anticipates an eventual nationwide "switchover" of all radio to digital platforms.

Ofcom would like the switchover to happen in 2015 -- but they're waiting for 50% of all radio listening to be via digital platforms, and national DAB coverage to be comparable to that of FM (and local DAB to reach 90% of the population and all major roads). (DAB is the UK's digital radio system, along the same lines as, but significantly different than, HD Radio in the U.S.)

For the 12 months ending in June 2012, data from RAJAR show 29.5% "of all radio listening hours were to services delivered over a digital platform."

Listening on a DAB digital radio set was the most widely-used method, accounting for just under 65% of all digital listening hours. Digital television was almost 16%, and Internet radio accounted for over 13%. The most-listened-to "digital only" stations were BBC Radio 4 Extra, 6 Music, and Five Live Sports Extra (all with over a million average weekly listeners).

Interestingly -- and The Telegraph points this out -- just 6.7 million radio sets were sold in this time period, which is an 18.3% drop from the same period last year. The paper attributes this to "radio listening (that) is now online or via apps, and new apps such as the iPlayer and Radioplayer (that) have encouraged more users to listen via their mobiles."

Read the summary of Ofcom's report here; and coverage from The Telegraph here.

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