Digital radio sales jump ahead of forecast

2 April 2012

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Official data relating to digital radio broadcasts in Australia was released by Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) today in the Digital Radio Industry Report 2012, showing the technology is tracking ahead of forecast, with 1.2 million* people listening to digital radio in an average week, in the five state metropolitan capitals of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide and close to 800,000** digital radios sold. 

Over the Christmas 2011 and New Year 2012 period, Digital radio sales recorded the highest jump to date, with a total of 180,546 devices sold between Oct 2011– Jan 2012.  These sales figures are outperforming the original forecast and have prompted an update to the PwC Forecast for Digital Radio Adoption.  The PwC report now shows household penetration of DAB+ digital radio is forecast to reach 16% by December 2013 and 18% by June 2014***.

Commercial Radio Australia chief executive officer, Joan Warner said: “Digital radio sales and listening have increased despite one of the worst retail climates for decades. The commercial radio industry has invested in the promotion of digital radio and worked very hard with retailers.  We've put our money where our mouth is and used our medium to tell our listeners about digital radio. Once again, results highlight just how well radio works.”

The Digital Radio Industry Report 2012, is the third report compiled by CRA and includes data from the official radio industry audience measurement survey provider, Nielsen, consumer electronics market research company GfK, market research organisations, the Hoop Group and HOED and an update on the household uptake forecast from PwC.

Uptake of, and time spent listening (TSL) to, digital radio have increased. The report includes detailed breakdowns and comparative figures on TSL and listening by age, platform and place, since the introduction of digital radio.

Major findings are:
• 1.2 million people or 9.4% of radio listeners, listen to radio on a DAB+ digital radio each week. This is an increase of nearly 400,000 people in the same period in 2011.*
• time spent listening to radio via a DAB+ digital radio platform is 12hrs & 20 mins each week – an increase of almost 8 hours since digital radio listening was first surveyed in 2009.*
• household penetration of DAB+ is at the level of nearly one in ten Australian households after two and a half  years.  This rate is only exceeded by the rate of adoption of Pay TV***.
• digital radio household penetration is forecast to reach 16% by December 2013 and 18% by June 2014 – ahead of the original forecast.***
Ms Warner said: “While the latest market summary information is very pleasing, the overall aim of the industry is to ensure digital radio is available in all areas of Australia. Extensive work is also underway on the planning for digital radio rollout to regional Australia and proposed timelines are being developed for discussions with the Federal Government.”

The full Digital Radio Industry Report 2012 is available as an ebook here and can be downloaded from this website on Monday, 2 April by clicking on the Digital Radio Industry Report banner on the home page.

 * The Nielsen Company Radio Ratings. How Listened. Mon-Sun  Survey 2, 2012 SMBAP  All People 10+.
* *GfK Marketcope Report to January 2012.
***PWC Forecast Report, March 2012

Media contact - Melissa Fleming - 0417 499 529