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Radio and audio

UK radio listeners listened to an average of 22.5 hours of radio each week, up by 24 minutes on 2010

UK radio listeners listened to an average of 22.5 hours of radio each week, up by 24 minutes on 2010.

Listening to the radio on digital devices has increased to 29.2% of total listening, with DAB accounting for two thirds of this.

More than four in ten UK adults say they own a DAB radio set, a 4.4% year-on-year increase.

BBC Radio 4 Extra was the most popular digital-only station, reaching 1.5 million listeners in the first quarter of 2012.

Total UK radio industry revenues reached 1.2bn in 2011, an increase of 3.5% year on year.

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Adults in Scotland listen to an average of 21.4 hours of radio each week, the lowest across all of the UK nations.

Scots are more likely to listen to commercial radio.

Local and national commercial stations accounted for 53% of listening share, the highest in all the UK nations and 6 percentage points higher than the UK average.

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Adults in Wales listened to the most radio per week in 2011.

Average weekly radio listening among adults stood at 23.2 hours, the highest across all of the UK nations.

But theyre less likely to listen to commercial radio.

Local and national commercial stations accounted for 38% of listening share, the lowest of all the UK nations and five percentage points lower than the UK average.

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Listening to BBC local stations is higher in Northern Ireland than in other UK nations.

BBC Radio Ulster and Radio Foyle accounted for 22% of listening hours in Northern Ireland, significantly higher than the UK average of 9%.

Across all the UK nations, take-up of DAB is lowest in Northern Ireland (22%). Take-up is lower in rural areas (18%) where there are fewer stations available.

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Broadcast radio revenues among the 17 comparator countries analysed in this report reached £25.4bn in 2011, up by 1.6% year on year. The largest absolute increase was experienced by operators in the US, where revenues rose by £115m, followed by the Chinese market which grew by £89m. UK radio revenue rose £39m in 2011.

Among the countries that we surveyed, digital radio take-up is highest in the UK. Thirty-one per cent of consumers in the UK own and personally use a digital radio set, compared to 16% in Italy and 12% in Spain.

Radio revenue worldwide rose slightly (1.7%) in 2011 and now stands at £29.5bn. Of the total, advertising accounted for 68% (£20.0bn), public funding for just over a quarter (26% or £7.7bn), and subscriber revenue contributed the remaining 6% (£1.8bn).

Our consumer research found that radio listening is a popular activity among internet users in the countries which we surveyed, with the exception of Japan and China. The research found that 69% of UK adults who are connected to the internet claim to listen to radio on a weekly basis, on a par with Australia but slightly behind the other European countries surveyed. Across all of the countries surveyed, consumers are still more likely to listen to the radio on a regular basis than consume audio content on a portable media player or hi-fi.

As a news source, radio is used most for news about a region or locality. It is most popular among people in Germany, where 10% claimed it as their main source for local/regional news, and ranks second in Australia, where 7% made the same claim. In the UK, the comparable figure is 4%.

Using the MP3 function was the most popular audio purpose which mobile phones were used for in 2011. In China, over half (53%) of online respondents used their phone for this purpose, followed by 32% of consumers in Spain. Almost three in ten (28%) people in the UK used their phone to listen to MP3s.

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