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REAL SOUND / DIGITAL RADIO

In Tune: Digital Radio Beats Market Projections

By Tony Ibrahim | Wednesday | 04/04/2012

Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) has released a new report that indicates digital radio sales and consumption are on the rise, even beating market projections.

The Digital Radio Industry Report 2012 reveals 1.2 million people are listening to digital radio stations each week, with Australia's five cities selling 'close to 800,000' digital radios.
 
The biggest spike in digital radio sales took place during the Christmas-New Year holiday season, with a total of 180,546 digital radios sold during Oct of 2011 and Jan of 2012. These figures have outperformed original forecasts and have prompted the PwC to update their Forecast for Digital Radio Adoption report, which now predicts DAB+ digital radio to penetration  16% of households by December 2013 and 18% by 2014.

"Digital radio sales and listening have increased despite one of the worst retail climates for decades," said CRA chief executive, Joan 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."

Other major findings include:
· 1.2 million people or 9.4% of radio listeners, listen to radio on a DAB+ digital radio each week. This is an increase of nearly 400,000 people in the same period in 2011.*
· time spent listening to radio via a DAB+ digital radio platform is 12hrs & 20 mins each week - an increase of almost 8 hours since digital radio listening was first surveyed in 2009.*
· household penetration of DAB+ is at the level of nearly one in ten Australian households after two and a half  years.  This rate is only exceeded by the rate of adoption of Pay TV***.
· digital radio household penetration is forecast to reach 16% by December 2013 and 18% by June 2014 - ahead of the original forecast

Although pleased with the findings, Warner modestly recognised they are one step of a long term goal.

"The overall aim of the industry is to ensure digital radio is available in all areas of Australia. 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," she concluded.

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