In a recent Dick Smith survey, the retailer has outlined that 77 per cent of consumers are planning to upgrade to a digital radio in the near future.

The online survey polled 7,750 consumer electronic shoppers across Australia, it focussed on consumer awareness of digital radio, whether consumers are ready to make the switch to digital radio and basic behaviour of radio listening.

The results highlighted that the car was the most popular place to listen to radio (54%) followed by at home (29%), at work (11%) and on a computer over the internet (4%).

In addition to this, the average time a consumer listens to radio is between one and two hours per day, with most respondents claiming music as the main reason for listening (64%) followed by news and talkback programs.

In terms of digital radio the survey found that consumers are increasingly becoming more aware of the technology. In just two months awareness of the medium has risen from 38 per cent to 69 per cent.

“The switch to digital is the most significant change in radio since the introduction of FM. Consumers are clearly seeing it as an exciting opportunity, with exceptionally high sound and signal quality delivered along with a range of new channels and content,” said Matt Hayler, audio buyer for Dick Smith.

Hayler expressed that retailers need to be ready for consumer interest to rise.

“From what we’re seeing, awareness is high and as radio stations begin to trial digital channels and talk more about digital radio we expect to get more questions in-store,” he said.

“As retailers, it will be important for us to be aware of the changes in technology in order to provide customers the advice they need to make educated purchasing decisions.”

The survey also highlighted that cost may be a barrier stopping consumers from upgrading; with 67 per cent claiming they would spend under $150 on a digital radio. Which could pose a problem seeing entry level receivers start from around the $150 mark, and higher capability receivers can start from $299.

Dick Smith highlighted that it has experienced solid sales of digital radios since they hit the shelves less than a month ago.