DAB+ digital radio growth continues as industry launches Christmas retailer campaign

27 November 2015

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Australians are embracing digital radio, with new data by GfK showing four out of 10 Australians in the five metropolitan capital cities now have access to a digital radio at home, work or in the car.

Joan Warner, CEO of industry body Commercial Radio Australia, said the industry was pleased with the strong uptake of DAB+ technology, which offers high sound quality and new digital-only radio stations.

“The research shows that 40% of Australians in the major capital cities now have access to a DAB+ digital radio, which reflects a strong adoption rate over the six years since the launch of the first DAB+ services in Australia,” Ms Warner said.*

GfK’s latest DAB+ Digital Radio Report released today shows the total audience listening to radio via DAB+ devices is nearly 3.2 million.  

New digital-only radio stations attract 1.33 million unique listeners each week, while 2.36 million listeners tune in to DAB+ simulcasts of their favourite AM and FM stations in the five metropolitan capitals of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.  In total, 24.1% of people surveyed are tuning in to DAB+ stations each week.

“The industry is continuing to enhance the quality and variety of DAB+ digital-only programming, and we’re confident that when consumers experience these targeted and sometimes niche services they will appreciate the great diversity that is now on offer,” Ms Warner said.

The figures were released as the commercial radio industry joins forces with radio manufacturer Bush and retailers JB Hi-Fi and Dick Smith to launch a $2 million marketing campaign to promote digital radio sales in the lead up to Christmas. 

The campaign will launch on-air on December 4, promoting a “Wake Up to Breakfast Radio” pack consisting of three products - a Bush TR82 DAB+ digital radio and matching kettle and toaster for under $250. The offer will be supported by three 30-second radio ads which will be aired across 42 commercial radio stations as well as through online channels and retailer catalogues.  

Sales Director for Bush Australia, Brian Rodgers, said with consumer confidence returning to the market, the limited time offer represented great value for customers.

“Typically people wake up, turn on the radio, have breakfast and go, so the concept of packaging matched appliances with our best-selling digital radio makes for an appealing offer,” he said. 

GfK figures show that the number of DAB+ devices sold in Australia has reached nearly 2.0 million**, and more than 370,000*** new vehicles fitted with DAB+ radio have been sold, bringing the total number of digital radios in the market to nearly 2.4 million.

Free to air DAB+ digital radio launched in the five metropolitan capitals in late 2009, and the Australian Media and Communications Authority recently extended licences for trials in Canberra and Darwin.

There are more than 30 extra DAB+ only stations on offer, including targeted formats such as sport, talk and news, children’s programming, country, chillout and dance music and short term pop-up stations focused on events or particular seasons.

The GfK DAB+ Digital Radio Report can be found here
Audio for the new Christmas campaign can be heard here.

Media contact – Judy Shaw 0418 415 965

Sources: *GfK Radio Ratings Surveys 5-7, 2015.  ** GfK MarketScope Q3 2015 Report.  ***Glass's Automotive Business Intelligence Q3 2015.