Digital listening reached 45.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016.
This was an increase from the 41.7 per cent in Q4 2015, and was boosted by record levels of DAB digital listening, according to the latest Rajar data for Q4.
Digital listening hours grew by 12 per cent (51.3 million hours), compared with the previous year, mainly driven by record growth in DAB hours, which increased by 23 per cent, and online hours, which increased by 14 per cent.
DAB digital radio now accounts for a third of all radio listening and almost three-quarters (73 per cent) of all digital listening.
Digital listening via apps or online now account for 7.4 per cent of all radio listening and 16 per cent of digital listening. While digital TV accounts for 4.9 per cent of radio listening and 11 per cent of digital listening.
National commercial digital listening hours continued to grow, increasing by 21 per cent year on year, and now account for 73 per cent of all national commercial listening.
Q4 also saw in-car accounting for 23.3 per cent of all radio listening – its highest ever recorded level. This growth was supported by the increase in the number of in-car digital radios, with 87 per cent of new cars now fitted with DAB as standard.
In Q4, in-car listening hours grew by 40 per cent year on year to 62.3m hours from 44.5m in Q4 2015.
Ford Ennals, chief executive of Digital Radio UK, said: “It is very encouraging to see record levels of DAB listening growth in-car and in the home with DAB now representing nearly three-quarters of all digital listening. Radio listening online and via apps on smartphones and digital devices, such as Sonos and Amazon Echo, also continues to grow and represents an important digital platform for the future, alongside DAB. With digital listening broadly flat quarter on quarter in this book, as it often the case from Q3 to Q4, we would expect to see digital listening growth step up in Q1 of 2017 when the DAB radios and digital devices sold at Christmas come into use.”