LONDON: Despite recent debate over its financial viability, it appears UK digital radio is gaining in popularity with listeners.

Latest figures from radio audience measurement body RAJAR reveal 31% of listeners now tune in digitally at least once a week, using platforms such as DAB (Digital Audio Broadcast) radios, cable television and online.

RAJAR says DAB accounted for 10.8% of all radio listening in the first quarter, up 0.9% on quarter four last year.

The debate over the platform's future was enlivened earlier this year when Fru Hazlitt, ceo of GCap Media, announced the struggling radio company was to ditch its remaining digital stations and its share in the national operator Digital One.
She described the platform's cost structure and infrastructure as "not economically viable".

However, digital radio operators will draw comfort from RAJAR's figures that also show the number of adults aged 15 + who own a DAB set at home increased 5% quarter on quarter, up to 27.3% in Q1.

Market researcher GfK also revealed 500,000 DAB radios were sold during Q1, growth of 28% year on year.

Comments Andrew Harrison, ceo of commercial radio trade body RadioCentre: "All of this audience data says listeners are voting clearly that DAB is digital's future."

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff