RAJAR, the official audience measurement service for radio in the UK, has recently released listening data from the 4th quarter of last year. Listening to Internet radio grew by 55% in the year between Q4 2009 and Q4 2010, crossing over the 3% of all radio listening share threshold for the first time.
Listening to radio via other digital platforms is substantial as well – listening to digital audio broadcasting (DAB) in the UK has a 25 % share of all listening. There has been a much more substantial effort in the UK to transition radio broadcasting and distribution to DAB – Digital One and BBC are the two main operators and over one-third of the population now lives in a household with a DAB receiver.
At the same time, listening to all radio continues to grow in the UK. 46.7 million persons 15+ listen to radio weekly, which translates to 90.5% of that population. That’s up by almost 750,000 listening or 1.7% from a year ago.
There’s a lot that is different about radio listening in the UK, so it’s difficult to make comparisons to US listening. 55% of all listening is to BBC Radio, which is government funded. 42.5% of listening is to Commercial Radio. Audience measurement is funded jointly by the BBC and the Commercial sector and the data is available online for everyone to see (here).
It’s interesting to note that digital listening is driving overall listening UP overall. One could infer that listeners are more satisfied with additional platform offerings and are spending more time with the medium..
Nearly a third of British adults have listened to Internet radio, according to updated research from RAJAR, the official body in charge of measuring radio audiences in the UK. 16.3 million adults have listened either to live or time shifted streamed services.
RAJAR is jointly owned by the BBC and commercial radio companies. This updated information comes as part of MIDAS, Measurement of Internet Delivered Audio Services. Basically, commercial and non-commercial radio operators in the UK have teamed up to fund research that provides them with audience data, an approach that I think makes enormous sense for an industry that is witnessing the kind of platform segmentation that radio is.
Mobile listening has grown rapidly in the UK over the past year. 6.6 million persons 15+ have listened to Internet radio on a mobile device. Over a quarter of smartphone owners on the Midas survey (26% or 2.2 million adults) have downloaded a radio app and, of those, almost half (44%) use their radio apps at least once a week.
A new release of information on digital audio listening from RAJAR, the official source for radio audience measurement in the UK, shows that Brits are not as active as consumers in the US when it comes to listening to online radio and podcasts.
According to the new data, 31% of UK adults have ever listened to online radio, in sharp contrast to the 52% of the 12+ population here in the US that have listened. Granted, the US study (Arbitron’s Infinite Dial 2010) counts the 12-17 population and the RAJAR study does not, but that cell accounts for only 10% of the total weekly listening so does not make up the difference.
Listening to online radio in the UK can include live streaming as well as “Time Shifted” listening where listeners can use “Listen Again” services to record some radio programming and listen to it at a different time. This behavior is prohibited, or at least discouraged by copyright law in the US.
Brits also listen less to podcasts than Americans – according to the new MIDAS6, 23% of adults have ever listened to podcasts whereas The Infinite Dial Study of US listening behaviors says 23% have ever listened. Again, I don’t think the 12-17 age group that’s taken into consideration by the US study and not by the UK one is making the difference.
I’m wondering of course why this is, but I’m not offering any solid reasons at this point I’m just watching and thinking about it. I suspect that UK radio blogger James Cridland might have a few as well…
In the UK radio listening is booming. Radio listening in the UK has reached an all time high of 46.5 million adults, or 90.6% of the UK population (15+), according to new data released by RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research).