RAJAR Q4 2019: Digital steadily grows its share of radio listening

Digital continues to amass a larger share of radio listening in the UK. The Q4 RAJAR survey results have found that digital metrics are rising as overall radio listening delivers a more uneven performance.

In the final quarter of 2019, 48.1 million adults said they listened to their radio station of choice every week. That equated to 87% of the population aged 15+, down from 88% in the year-ago period. The results found that UK adults listened to an average of 976 million weekly hours, and an average listener consumed 20.3 hours of live radio a week.

Two-thirds of the UK’s 15+ base said they listen to digital radio every week, an audience of 36 million adults. Digital formats secured a 58.5% share of all radio listening in the period, up from 52.6% in Q4 2018 and from 49.9% in Q4 2017. The average week generated 571 million digital listening hours.

DAB continued to be responsible for the bulk of digital radio. Its 70% portion of digital listening was 400 million hours. Online radio upped its share from 18% in the year-ago period to 21%, yielding 122 hours in a typical week.

The Q4 RAJAR infographic included some statistics around smart speakers. Among the niche that owns the devices, 94% said they use the hardware to listen to audio content, covering radio, music, podcasts, and audiobooks. Audio was a leading activity, with just 48% of speaker owners using them to perform tasks, such as checking the weather, setting alarms, controlling other appliances, or making purchases.

Anna Washenko