By Claire Reilly

Digital radio sales recorded their biggest jump since Christmas 2010 over the last quarter, according to figures released today by Commercial Radio Australia (CRA). Citing data from a GfK Marketscope report, CRA showed that close to 100,000 DAB+ digital radios were sold in Q3 2011.

The total number of digital radios sold since August 2009 now stands at 603,932. Of these, nearly 500,000 have been sold since July 2010, when the figure stood at approximately 150,000.

Speaking about the sales results, CRA chief executive officer, Joan Warner said they showed strength in the DAB+ category. “These are great sales figures and show that radio's call to action to our listeners to try and buy digital radios continues to work, even in a tough retail environment,” she said.

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According to recent official Nielsen radio survey results, the number of people listening to digital radio each week is 940,000, and in the 5 state metropolitan capitals, 7.6 per cent of all radio listening is done through a DAB+ device. Time spent listening to digital radio is just under 12 hours per week (11 hours, 56 minutes), which greatly outstrips the time spent listening to radio via the internet, which stands at 5 hours and 56 minutes each week.

According to CRA, the recent positive sales figures include the Father’s Day retail cycle in which “42 commercial radio stations in the five state metropolitan capitals played a series of digital radio Father’s Day ads that focused on the affordability of digital radio, using the tagline ‘from as little as $59’.”

CEO Joan Warner said CRA was in the process of developing its Christmas campaign for digital radio, with details set to be announced in early December.