Launch of digital radio exceeds expectations

Commercial Radio Australia has released the first official data relating to the launch of digital radio in Australia. According to the CRA, the new technology has exceeded initial expectations.

According to the data, which measures the six months after the consumer launch of digital radio in the five metropolitan capitals around Australia, there are 449,000 people listening to digital radio in an average week. A reported 104,000 digital radios are currently in the market and 80 per cent of all digital radio owners would recommend it to a friend.

The Digital Radio Industry Report included official data from the Nielson Company, GfK and the Hoop Group. Joan Warner, chief executive officer of Commercial Radio Australia, was impressed at the strong results following the launch.

“The market information in the Digital Radio Industry Report has exceeded the industry’s initial expectations. Initial predictions were up to 50,000 receivers sold in the first 12 months.  Permanent high power digital radio services have only been on air for a short time and we are very pleased with these initial results,” she said.

“The report gives us a basis on which to work for the continued marketing, promotion, development and growth of digital radio across Australia.”

A reported 95 per cent of people in the five state capitals listen to radio. 3.7 per cent of those listen via DAB+ and 4.2 per cent via the internet. Although these numbers are still low, Warner was confident in the future of the technology.

“We have to remember digital radio is a new technology, the internet has been available as an alternative way to listen to broadcast radio for many years. Time spent listening to digital radio is already greater than time spent listening via the internet platform,” she said.

Even though digital radio is still only in its early days, Warner said that it is important to keep measuring the performance of the technology.

“This industry data is obviously being made available very early in the life of digital radio but the industry is keen to ensure that data in relation to digital radio was measured from the outset of the technology so that we can look back in ten years and see how far we’ve come,” she said.

“There are areas for further work like the introduction of digital radio into all cars as standard and the roll-out of digital radio to regional areas so all Australians can access this great medium. The industry will work hard to ensure these next steps come to fruition.”

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