Digital Radio overtakes FM and AM

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Digital Radio overtakes FM and AM

The popularity of Amazon Echo smart speakers has helped push the audience for digital radio past that of FM and AM in the UK for the first time, the Guardian report. The milestone, which was reached in the first quarter of this year, could prompt the government to launch a review to evaluate whether it should switch off the FM signal.
Digital radio hit a record share of 50.9% of all radio listening in the three months to March. Listening online and via apps proved to be by far the fastest-growing segment of digital consumption, with hours of listening in the first quarter surging by 14m (17%) year on year to 95m hours. This now makes up almost a fifth of all digital listening, and almost 10% of all radio listening including on traditional FM and AM radios.

This is a landmark moment for for the radio industry and for listeners alike,

said Ford Ennals, the chief executive of Digital Radio UK.

The digital transition is good news for radio and is helping our industry compete more effectively in the digital age.

The radio industry has reacted to the shift in listening habits with digital-only stations such as BBC 6 Music, Kisstory and Heart 80s, as well as regional FM stations such as LBC, Radio X and Magic, and has now truly taken the step to national coverage via its expansion on the DAB platform. There remains, however, a reluctance to set a switch-off date for FM.

Author: Tim Cole
Image Credit: Pixabay

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