By Claire Reilly

Digital radios saw their highest sales jump to date during the last Christmas and New Year sales period, according to new data from Commercial Radio Australia (CRA).

In its findings, the CRA reported that a total of 180,546 digital radio devices were sold between October 2011 and January 2012. In addition, the CRA found that close to 1.2 million Australians in the five mainland state capitals are listening to digital radio every week.

The Digital Radio Industry Report 2012 was released by CRA today, and is the third report of its kind compiled by the industry group, which includes polls from Nielsen and consumer electronics market research from GfK.

(Article continues below graphs.)

This chart shows that the ASP of DAB+ receivers has only dropped by $4 over the last 18 months.

Two-and-a-half years into DAB+ sales and the technology is experiencing faster take-up than several key benchmarks.

Speaking about the results was the chief executive of CRA, Joan Warner.

“Digital radio sales and listening have increased despite one of the worst retail climates for decades,” said Warner. “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.”

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The research in the report found that 9.4 per cent of all radio listeners (1.2 million people) listened to DAB+ radio each week, which was up from 400,000 listeners from the same period in 2011. In addition, listeners are spending an average of 12 hours and 20 minutes tuning in to DAB+ every week, “an increase of almost 8 hours since digital radio listening was first surveyed in 2009”.

The CRA report also predicts that digital radios will be in 16 per cent of households by December 2013, and 18 per cent of households by June 2014.

“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,” said Warner. “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.”