Australia: 40% have access to DAB+

By James Cridland for
Posted 27 November 2015, 12.09am est


Australia, the first country to officially launch DAB+, is celebrating new figures today showing 40% of Australians (in the five metro capital cities with DAB) have access to a digital radio, at home, work or in the car. (The figure for the UK is 53.7%).

Weekly reach in Australia for DAB+ is now 24.1%. (In the UK, it's 39.2%).

Commercial Radio Australia, the industry body that promotes DAB+, have launched a new marketing campaign for the Christmas period, which includes a kettle and a toaster. Coincidentally, having just bought a house, I need a kettle and a toaster.

Also published today are the latest DAB+ radio audience figures. Triple M Classic Rock, a brand extension of Triple M, is still the most listened-to digital-only station in Australia; Pure Gold 80s is the new #2, and Coles Radio, an instore station that also happens to be carried on DAB+, is #3.

They've also released an infographic, and because I'm lazy I like infographics, I've reproduced it below.

Commercial Radio Australia Digital Radio infographic Nov2015

Press release

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.

More information

James Cridland — James runs, and is a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business. He also publishes a free daily newsletter about podcasting, Podnews, and a weekly radio trends newsletter.


5 years, 5 months ago

The bit that really excites me is the final phase strategy of bringing digital radio to thinly populated areas like Katherine and Tennant Creek in Australia's Northern Territory. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) currently use short wave to carry over their domestic services to these areas.
I wonder if DAB+ transmitters will ever be installed in the remote parts of Western Australia or in the Northern Territory for (or by) the ABC?
A DRM/DAB+ combo outfit could be the answer for listeners in the outback!

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