Radio Listening Data 4th QTR 2019

Following on from 3rd QTR 2019, this is RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research) published UK radio listening.
The original government plan was to begin the process of switching off national FM/AM & move to DAB when digital listening reached & passed 50% -vs- FM/AM & when DAB coverage matches that of FM…
The 50% target has been passed, but as BBC has proposed that switching off FM is premature for numbers of reasons such as DAB availability in the automotive sector & hints that DAB set ownership is not as high as expected, the eventual national FM switch off is on hold for a few more years


The decline of FM continues, but the digital growth is not in DAB, this continues to be slower than expectations. On-Line (web radio) has shown the most gains, although it has gone back -0.5% in this last quarter.


Many thanks, as ever, Mike.

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I have DAB in my car but rarely use it. FM is so much better on the move and not just In sound quality. The amount of times you lose signal on DAB makes it just about useless for in car, unless you are parked, in my experience. Praying the FM reprieve lasts another couple of decades at least. Hopefully my hearing will last that long anyway.

it’s worth noting that the bbc is considering switching to dab-1 as the rest of europe uses !!

I travel in Europe quite frequently, yes DAB+ is better SQ for the same bit rate, problem is some stations have reduced the bit rate in the move to DAB+, the same looks to be happening in UK if my local DAB+ stations are indicative.
However the same problem of area coverage remains as it does with DAB as it’s the same/similar transmitting system. The same poor coverage remains in those area’s & even in strong signal areas hill & building shadow issues still exist.

However DAB+ uses the AAC+ codec which is far more efficient and effective at low bandwidth compared to the very very old (Dawn of compressed audio vintage) MPEG 1 audio layer 2 (MP2) codec of DAB which is relatively very inefficient.
So with migration to DAB+ one can reduce data rates and still improve SQ… a no brainier to me.

The only downside is that AAC+ doesn’t handle already compressed audio(transcoded) as well as MP2.

I believe that is correct Simon, thanks for the detail. As I posted, DAB+ is better ‘reception’ quality when I had the opportunity to flip between the two in Holland a while back. Its just a shame that in UK on my local DAB service, the DAB+ stations have chosen to use a low bit rate & the reception SQ is not good. e.g Jazz FM are broadcasting at 32kb/s AAC+, & it shows to such an extend I don’t bother, maybe 64kb/s is all it needs.

My other point is DAB+ using the same MUX bands (frequencies) the area coverage is no better as is the shadowing issues in hill areas & high rise cities.

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