Radio days are here again as Britons tune, click and plug into digital age

In a world of digital TV, video-on-demand and the iPod, radio risked being left behind. There is something rather old-fashioned about switching on your “wireless”, a term more likely to refer to broadband internet these days.But the latest audience figures published yesterday reveal that we are more in love with the radio than ever before. It is just that we are not listening to it in quite the same way as we used to.

Around 4.4 million listen on their mobile phone, up more than 25% on last year, with 1.8 million of them aged between 15 and 24. “In this multiplatform environment it’s absolutely vital for radio stations to make content as accessible on as many platforms as possible,” said Paul Jackson, chief executive of Virgin Radio, which became the first to launch on 3G mobile phones in 2005.Another 2.7 million of us listen to podcasts downloaded on to our iPod or other MP3 player, up from 1.9 million. It is radio, but not as we once knew it.,,2150602,00.htmlAlso see:
Comment: Worldwide and wireless
While across the land radio station executives look to the usual explanatory suspects in the wake of yesterday’s Rajar quarterly audience figures – any minute now I expect someone from London’s ailing Capital Radio to blame the miserable weather or stock market wobbles – one thing is beyond doubt: the way we listen to radio in Britain is changing.In 2003, 900,000 of us tuned in via digital radio. Yesterday’s Rajars, the first to measure how people listen as well as what they listen to, revealed that 12 million people now access digital radio through DAB sets, satellite or digital television, and the internet. Podcast downloads are up too, with a jump from 1.9m downloads of radio material to 2.7m, and there is also a steady increase in the number of listeners aged 15 and over tuning into radio via their mobile phones.,,2150715,00.html

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