I singoli sondaggi possono essere più o meno credibili ma la linea generale di tendenza sembra confermare il successo delle modalità alternative di accesso alla programmazione radiofonica rispetto alle trasmissioni analogiche. Precisiamo meglio: il non-analogico appare sempre più gradito, ma curiosamente non passa solo dalla radio digitale intesa come sistema di trasmissione digitale. Sono piuttosto Internet, i telefonini e i lettori MP3 ad attirare coloro che in un passato anche recente non avevano altro modo di consumare radio se non attraverso l’FM e le onde medie.
Il seguente articolo del Times londinese analizza i risultati dell’ultimo survey della versione britannica di Audiradio, la joint venture pubblico-privata RAJAR, dal punto di vista delle piattaforme utilizzate dagli ascoltatori. Il report completo si può prelevare qui. Il DAB è una modalità affermata, ma il giornale sottolinea come la tecnologia sta incontrando qualche opposizione da parte degli ecologisti, visto che un apparecchio digitale consuma molta più corrente di una radio analogica. Nel complesso, l’ascolto solo digitale della radio (nelle forme via DAB, DTV, Internet, telefono cellulare o podcast) vale per il 12% della audience totale nel secondo trimestre 2007. Il 66% continua a sintonizzarsi attraverso FM e AM. In forte crescita il consumo di podcast, che ormai vede godono di una audience assoluta di 2,7 milioni di persone (su oltre 45).
From The Times
August 17, 2007
Radio fans turned on to digital by wealth of specialist programmes
Adam Sherwin, Media Correspondent
Britain has discovered life beyond the FM dial, with millions of listeners tuning in to digital-only radio stations.
Adaptations of Dickens, Latin jazz and celebrity gossip are thriving in a listening environment where mobile phones and computers are challenging analogue radios. Figures from Radio Joint Audience Research (RAJAR), a listening bureau, show that the number of people listening to digital-only radio stations has soared from 905,000 in 2003 to 6 million today. One in four adults now listens to radio digitally, including through televisions, mobile phones and computers. A total of 136 million hours is spent listening to digital radio each week. Although Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) sets are becoming increasingly stylish, they lack green credentials. Scientists estimate that they consume five to eight times more power than conventional analogue sets.
Listening to the radio through a mobile phone increased by 27 per cent last year, and 2.7 million people listen to podcasts on MP3 players. The number of people listening to the radio reached a new high of 46.5 million a week. Music fans with niche tastes no longer have to wait for a BBC specialist programme. TheJazz started to broadcast a mixture of prebebop, swing, Latin and Brazilian music at Easter. Its debut figures showed that the station attracted 334,000 listeners a week, with jazz fans tuning in for an average of seven hours each week. The station claimed a 15 per cent bigger audience for jazz than Radio 3, which reaches 291,000 listeners when it broadcasts jazz programmes. Darren Henley, the managing director of theJazz, said: “It is no longer a one-size-fits-all environment and digital stations are tapping into these specialist areas. “No one was listening to the jazz audience, their music was becoming more and more marginalised, but we have now been able to fill that gap.”
Big winners of the digital age include BBC 6 Music, which caters for rock fans who feel alienated by Radio 1 but are not yet ready to Wake Up To Wogan, and BBC 7, which has attracted 738,000 listeners to its drama adaptations and classic comedies. Changing tastes forced Smash Hits off of the magazine shelves but the brand lives on as a radio station that has nearly one million listeners. The celebrity magazine Heat also has a thriving digital spin-off.
The Today programme, which increased its audience to 6.2 million during Tony Blair’s final year at 10 Downing Street, faces its first determined digital competitor. Channel 4 Radio, which is due to be launched next year, will broadcast a news and current affairs breakfast show incorporating the values of its acclaimed television news presented by Jon Snow. Radio 3 is feeling the blast of digital competition the most. Its audience has fallen to its lowest-ever recorded figure – down by 119,000 listeners to 1.78 million in the last quarter. The station’s audience failed to respond to a schedule shake-up that was instigated by Roger Wright, the station’s Controller.
A spokesman said that the station’s audience figures were traditionally low at this time of year. But Chris Moyles, whose show is the BBC’s most popular podcast, soared to a new high for Radio 1. The breakfast show host now has 7.26 million listeners – up by 470,000 from this time last year. He is closing in on the nation’s favourite breakfast DJ, Terry Wogan on Radio 2, who is now only 660,000 listeners ahead. Radio 2 remains Britain’s most popular radio station, attracting 13.1 million listeners.