UK Radio Listening Data - Q3 2017

RAJAR have just released the latest UK radio listening trends for Q3 2017.   I've shown Q3 2016 compared to Q3 2017

 Q3 2016Q3 2017% Change
FM/AM %54.551.2-6.1%
DAB %32.335.911.1%
DTV %5.25.43.8%
OnLine %8.08.00.0%

The move from FM to Digital continues.  OnLine (web/mobile) is flat but had a 0.8% decline compared to Q2 - under that BBC OnLine is up,  Commercial Radio OnLine is down.    RAJAR don't record specific web-radio listening data such as we have with Naim

Original Post

Well DAB coverage is still woeful in east suffolk, and supposedly its been upgraded!!!!!! perhaps they have had to turn the power down to avoid interference with the continent - which on the coast I can sometimes get better than UK stations - in the car I have just given up with it as I am fed up with the drop outs - which is a shame as I enjoy BBC Radio 6  and frustratingly it is not available on FM - I suspect  that is some sort  of conspiracy. With DAB you seem ok on the main trunk roads - but go cross country or away from the towns - then nothing or intermittent unless you are on a bit of high open ground.. 

Like many people, I got my start in listening to music on AM radios, and C90s recorded from a scratchy transistor speaker. It’s quite possible to enjoy music iover pretty poor media, especially if you’re not used to listening on anything better. (I suspect I’d  struggle now, 30+ years of Roksan and Naim have left me expecting  more, but I don't doubt people,get realenjoyment of music even in poor quality.)

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

Well DAB coverage is still woeful in east suffolk, and supposedly its been upgraded!!!!!! 

I'm not sure whats been upgraded in your part of the world Simon,  looking at the info I have I have some contradictions,  but its supposed to be all been done.   The nearest main transmitters to you are Warren Heath (Ipswich) with 1200W with two MUX - D1 National & BBC,   & Woodbridge 500W,  with only the one BBC MUX.   Further north & fringe for you is Aldeburgh with 1800W

I was twitching at Minsmere earlier this year & took a day out to go to Flatford & meandered back via the coast roads,  then on the way home I went via Lakenheath,   I had no problems keeping R2 on air anywhere.    

Mike, the Suffolk multiplex was created, with some small repeater transmitters added.. the Woodbridge transmitter is on a water tower I believe which also contains vertically polarised fill in DVB for the estuary and deben valley around Woodbridge to the coast, but there are still not spots in Woodbridge itself.... Aldeburgh again is low power and right on the coast and falls away quite quickly... both are pretty useless when you head in land, and Warren Heath is really only useful for Ipswich / Felixstowe and near by higher ground to the north and west. It’s not really optimum for further afield say 15 to 20 mikes away it gets patchy to non existent. It currently homes also the local ipswich independent radio station which has quite limited range. It’s a shame they didn’t put the DAB transmitter antenna up the main high mast for East Suffolk at Mendlesham which would have provided great coverage from coast to mid Suffolk .. but I guess that would have caused interference with the continent... which with sporadic e conditions can be quite significant.

As far as my domestic situation, I live on a ridge and I have a roof DAB 3 element Yagi  pointing south to the transmitter at Manningtree on the Suffolk/Essex border, which for a while was the only way to get DAB in this part of the world.... but clearly in a car it’s a different ball game.

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

 It’s a shame they didn’t put the DAB transmitter antenna up the main high mast for East Suffolk at Mendlesham which would have provided great coverage from coast to mid Suffolk

The locations & power of the area DAB transmitters does seem a bit questionable.  Not sure about the continental interference, I thought the idea with the europe wide MUX planning is they don't (can't) interfere.   

There is a DAB transmitter on Mendlesham,  its output power does not cover the area well,  its on three MUX,  BBC with 4300W,  D1 National with 1000W & Norfolk with 2000W,   OK Norfolk is beamed that way,  but it makes me ask why is D1 so low power compared to BBC ??  The map shows a dead area around Aldeburgh,  it has its own transmitter but it's only a BBC MUX,  the plot thickens. 

FYI  My area has four MUX;  BBC with 10,000W,  SDL National also on 10,000W,  D1 with 7,750W  & Oxfordshire with 5,000W,  and their are a few DAB+ on the SDL MUX  -  & guess what ??  I don't have a DAB radio in the house !!!   

Dungassin posted:

Because the average Joe Public can't tell the difference?  Cloth ears?  Definitely non hifi equipment?

Or because they suffer from poor FM reception and live in a conservation area where planning permission for a Ron Smith or similar is highly unlikely to be granted.  Roll on more BBC FLAC!

Roger Cloth Ears

Peakman posted:

Roll on more BBC FLAC!

Agreed,  & roll on Radio Paradise FLAC & the more the merrier,  question is can vTuner (Naim's iRadio service) & most likely with Naim firm/software,   can they find a way to provide the service without the need to hook into something else.   

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

 I enjoy BBC Radio 6  and frustratingly it is not available on FM - I suspect  that is some sort  of conspiracy. 

Its not a conspiracy. Its a policy. The Government have tasked the BBC with promoting a shift to DAB. So, by policy, they have created DAB stations not available on FM as a tool to encourage migration.

Do the stats split in-car listening vs home listening into DAB and FM? I suspect the majority of in-car will form most of the FM listening.  Those people who buy used and therefore typically have cars in the 5 to 20 year old range will be a long tail of FM listeners who will need to be catered for.

RAJAR don't split out in-car listening.   But yes you are right about the automotive users,  & don't forget the big truck driver sector.  What is in the 'plan' for FM only automotive for whenever the FM national broadcasting service ends  (remember FM is not necessarily being switched off for local radio)   The simple answer is to buy an 'adaptor',  but its a cost (£50 to £150) to the user.  So no easy answer .........  

Mike-B posted:

RAJAR have just released the latest UK radio listening trends for Q3 2017.   I've shown Q3 2016 compared to Q3 2017

 Q3 2016Q3 2017% Change
FM/AM %54.551.2-6.1%
DAB %32.335.911.1%
DTV %5.25.43.8%
OnLine %8.08.00.0%

The move from FM to Digital continues.  OnLine (web/mobile) is flat but had a 0.8% decline compared to Q2 - under that BBC OnLine is up,  Commercial Radio OnLine is down.    RAJAR don't record specific web-radio listening data such as we have with Naim

I've just had another look at this. The percentage change column is misleading since it shows a percent of percent. The actual percentage reduction in FM/AM listening according to these data is 3.3%, not 6.1%. I hope those publishing the data aren't intentionally trying to be deceitful.

sunbeamgls posted:
Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

 I enjoy BBC Radio 6  and frustratingly it is not available on FM - I suspect  that is some sort  of conspiracy. 

Its not a conspiracy. Its a policy. The Government have tasked the BBC with promoting a shift to DAB. So, by policy, they have created DAB stations not available on FM as a tool to encourage migration.

Well they need to sort coverage out then for less populated parts of the country... no such issues for me with FM... and Band II VHF (so called ‘FM’)  is more optimum for better dispersion and coverage than the higher frequency Band III VHF used for DAB.... so more transmitters are required for DAB which means costs are higher unless one packs more mediocre to poor quality resolution channels into the multiplexes to compensate for the higher infrastructure costs....

Our car radio is really only used by me for connecting the iphone to play audiobooks, but SWMBO alway switches it on to play Radio 2.  That's on DAB.  Every week we go down from just south of Burton-On-Trent (A38) to Sutton Coldfield to babysit.  I can virtually guarantee that the connection will be lost (i.e. silence for a couple of seconds) at least once during that trip.

We're hardly out in the wilds, so I'm totally unimpressed with DAB coverage.

P.S.  I hate Steve Wright.  Inane comments, and almost never tells you what track he has just played.

I met up with two people who work in & around the broadcast industry yesterday & we got into discussing the FM to DAB switch over for national broadcasting.   Both agreed the growth in digital listening has gone slower than in the past & that got me digging into RAJAR data (again)

Radio listening via all digital platforms is 48.8% compared to the previous Qtr at 48.7.%.  Year on year growth was 8% but that's less than half of a few years ago. (DAB share is 35.9%, web radio is 8.0%)

HM Gov (bless 'em) policy is that they will not commit to a mandatory switchover programme until the share is at least 50%.   Now with growth towards that figure being a lot slower than Ofcom & the 'industry' had expected,  my radio industry friends are saying that with the pace of growth so slow,  plus a few other 'distractions'  they are not expecting HMGov to rush into a switchover anytime soon.     

I hope they're right,  but I not placing bets. 

Mike-B posted:

I met up with two people who work in & around the broadcast industry yesterday & we got into discussing the FM to DAB switch over for national broadcasting.

....my radio industry friends are saying that with the pace of growth so slow,  plus a few other 'distractions'  they are not expecting HMGov to rush into a switchover anytime soon.

At last a silver lining... 

DAB reception in Edinburgh is hopless driving round in a (BMW) Mini it drops out ever time you turn north odd as the transmitter is in Fife, at home we have DAB reception only upstars and I miss parts of programmes with the lag changing to FM on the Roberts portable half way down the stairs. An A.T.V. 3 element aerial in the loft gave the UQ 2 a new lease of life downstairs. But FM still sounds best I think though the HD BBC streams are very good on the NDXS.

 

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