Digital radio listening on all platforms has grown 10 per cent in the past year, according to the latest Rajar Q4 data.
This growth in popularity, says Rajar, has paved the way for new national digital stations due to launch next month.
In the past year, digital radio’s share of total listening also increased to 41.7 per cent (37.9 per cent in 2015). During the same period, AM/FM listening declined by almost 10 per cent to 50.6 per cent, compared with 56.4 per cent a year ago.
More than 30 million people (56 per cent) listen on a digital platform every week, an increase of 2.2m digital listeners in the last year. Annual digital listening hours rose by 9.8 per cent to 423m hours from 385m in Q4 of 2015.
DAB listening saw a nine per cent year-on-year increase, with its listening share increasing to a record 27.7 per cent – that’s more than 66 per cent of all digital listening.
DAB ownership also grew 10 per cent year on year to 54 per cent of the population, compared with 48.9 per cent in Q4 2014.
Online listening experienced 10 per cent growth and online listening share increased to 6.8 per cent. Radio listening on digital TV grew by six per cent to 50m hours from 48m hours in Q4 2014.
Radio listening in cars grew to a record level of almost 23 per cent (22.8 per cent) of all radio listening. Digital listening in cars grew year on year by 45 per cent and now accounts for nearly 20 per cent of all in-car listening. This has been boosted by growth in the number of new cars being fitted with digital radios as standard.
Digital Radio UK chief executive Ford Ennals said: “Digital listening continues to grow by 10 per cent per annum and is closing the gap on analogue. Digital listening to national stations is already over 50 per cent and we expect to see that accelerate with the biggest ever launch of national commercial stations this spring. This is a massive moment for radio and listeners, and with this explosion of choice there has never been a better time to listen to digital radio at home or in the car.”