Press releases

FOUR MILLION LISTENERS RECEIVE 19 FURTHER RADIO STATIONS FOR THE FIRST TIME

Four million more listeners across the UK can now receive 19 further radio stations on DAB digital radio for the first time following the launch of new transmitters covering parts of East Anglia, the South West, Kent, South Wales and North East Scotland.

The new transmitters have expanded the coverage of Sound Digital, the national DAB commercial network, which broadcasts some of the UK’s most popular and iconic music, speech and sport stations including Bauer stations KISSTORY, Absolute 80s, Planet Rock & Jazz FM.

In total 19 new transmitters have been added to the network, meaning that four million more listeners now have access to the Sound Digital stations, increasing coverage to 83% of the UK from 77%.

Listeners in these areas will be able to listen to Tony Hadley’s 80s Party every Saturday on Absolute 80s; enjoy Nights With Alice Cooper on Planet Rock, Sunday afternoons with Ruthie Henshall on Mellow Magic and weekends with Jamie Laing on heat Radio and hear the very best jazz, soul and blues on JazzFM.

Mellow Magic’s Ruthie Henshall, said: “I love spending my Sunday mornings playing music from the musicals, and I hope with this brilliant expansion that many more of you can join me!”

heat Radio’s Jamie Laing, said: “Presenting on heat Radio each week is some of the most fun I’ve had, and I’m so excited that the station will be available in more places than ever before.  Can you ever have too much Britney and Busted? Absolutely not.”

To receive the 19 new stations listeners in the areas where the new transmitters have launched should retune their DAB set by pressing the auto tune or auto scan button or go into the radio’s menu and press auto tune. Listeners can check all their available digital stations by using the postcode checker at www.getdigitalradio.com [See Notes to Editors for further details].

Sound Digital is operated by a consortium of Bauer Media and Wireless, two of the UK’s leading commercial radio broadcasters, and Arqiva, the leading transmission provider. The network was launched in March 2016, transforming the choice of radio stations available to listeners in the UK through the biggest ever expansion of national radio stations. The network now attracts over 5 million listeners across its stations, which includes KISSTORY, the UK’s most popular digital-only commercial station.

The investment in 19 new transmitters is a response to the success and popularity of the network’s stations and listener demand for its line-up of services, which is in full: Absolute 80s, Fun Kids, Forces Radio BFBS, heat Radio, Jazz FM, JACK Radio, KISSTORY, Magic Chilled, Mellow Magic, Panjab Radio, Planet Rock, Premier Christian Radio, Premier Praise, Sunrise Radio, talkRADIO, talkSPORT2, UCB 2, Union Jack and Virgin Radio.

Steve Holebrook, Managing Director, Terrestrial Broadcast, Arqiva, said: “The popularity of the Sound Digital Network has grown significantly since its launch two years ago and it’s always been our target to bring its selection of high-quality stations to more people in the UK.  We are delighted to now be bringing the network’s diverse range of content to almost 4 million new listeners.”

Dee Ford, Group Managing Director of Radio (UK Division), Bauer Media, said: “Bauer continues to lead the field in digital radio listening because we understand the music passions and interests of our listeners. We are proud to be the home of the UK’s most listened to commercial digital radio station – KISSTORY, broadcasting on the Sound Digital mux. The expansion of Sound Digital coverage brings Bauer’s great brands into the lives of an even wider audience.”

Scott Taunton, Chief Executive of Wireless, said: "With our recent high profile talent signings including Chris Evans' sensational return to Virgin Radio, talkRADIO's new chat show legends Jeremy Kyle and Matthew Wright, and our new talkSPORT 2 presenter line up for our exclusive coverage of England cricket's major tours, it's been an exciting time for Wireless. This multiplex provides us with the opportunity to further amplify our first class coverage and content to an even wider audience."

Ford Ennals CEO, Digital Radio UK, said: “This is great news for radio and for listeners with some of the UK’s favourite commercial digital stations now being available for nearly 4 million listeners for the first time. The majority of radio listening in the UK is now digital thanks to the unique range of national stations available on DAB. The expansion of Sound Digital’s DAB coverage and its great line-up of stations mean that 83% of the UK population can now receive 44 outstanding national commercial and BBC radio stations on DAB.”

Notes to Editors

  • Listeners can check their available stations, including Sound Digital services, by using the postcode checker at getdigitalradio.com. Simply click on ‘Check your available stations’ and enter your postcode.
  • Listeners in coverage of the new transmitters should retune their DAB digital radio. Retuning is a simple process. Press the auto tune or auto scan button on your DAB digital radio or go into the menu and press auto tune.
  • For advice on how to retune your DAB digital radio go to:

http://www.getdigitalradio.com/retune

Digital radio – key stats

  • The majority of radio listening in the UK is digital, with 52.4% of all listening hours being to a digital platform. (Source: RAJAR Q3 2018)
  • DAB remains the most popular digital platform, accounting for 38.1% of all radio listening or 72.6% of all digital listening. Listening via online/Apps accounts for 9.6% of all radio listening and 18.4% of digital listening. (Source: RAJAR Q3 2018)
  • 64% of the UK population has access to a DAB digital radio. (Source: RAJAR Q3 2018)
  • 91% of all new cars have DAB digital radio as standard. (source: CAP/SMMT Q3 2018)
  • The benefits of digital radio include extra station choice, easy tuning, track and artist listings, and clear digital-quality sound.

About Sound Digital

Sound Digital is a joint venture company formed by Arqiva, Bauer & Wireless to bid for the second licence to operate a national commercial DAB multiplex licence in the United Kingdom.  This licence was awarded by Ofcom in March 2015 following a competitive bid process. The multiplex launched in March 2016.

Sound Digital combines two of the UK's leading commercial radio broadcasters with the UK's leading provider of broadcast transmission services. The consortium’s shared goal is to play a leading role in the development of digital radio.

 

Expansion sites and increased population coverage:

 

Site Name

Area of UK

Added Population

 
 

STOKE HOLY CROSS MD

Norfolk

287,500

 

HASTINGS

E Sussex

220,800

 

PUTTOCKS HILL (E)

Suffolk/Bury

172,500

 

CARADON HILL SC

Cornwall / W Devon

303,600

 

REDMOSS MF

Aberdeen

207,000

 

ST THOMAS (EXETER)

Devon

165,600

 

EGLWYSILAN RHONDDA CYNON TAFF

S Wales

172,500

 

PLYMPTON

Plymouth

220,800

 

REDRUTH

W Cornwall

248,400

 

COLCHESTER DEPOT (E)

Essex

165,600

 

BEACON HILL (NORTH)

Torbay/Devon

211,600

 

THE WREKIN

Shropshire

200,100

 

NAISH HILL MF

West Wiltshire

151,800

 

DAVENTRY

Northamptonshire

253,000

 

RIDGE HILL

Herefordshire

188,600

 

MENDLESHAM SC

Suffolk

280,600

 

BLUEBELL HILL

Kent

142,600

 

WYE (ASHFORD)

E Kent

105,800

 

BINCOMBE HILL

Dorset/Dorchester

105,800

 

  

For further information

Yvette Dore, Communications Director, Digital Radio UK

0207 010 0722/07887 682 909
yvette.dore@digitalradiouk.com