Digital Radio Proving Popular In OZ Say Experts

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GFK is refusing to say how many digital radios have been sold in Australia, despite Frontier Silicon claiming to have shipped 150,000 DAB+ units tuned for the Australian market.

Originally Commercial Radio Australia said that it expected 50,000 digital radio units to be sold in the first year in Australia. Now it is estimated that up to 100,000 units have been sold, with UK manufacturer Pure via its distributor Pioneer Australia capturing up to 50 per cent of the market.

GFK and Infomark started tracking digital radio sales last year; however, the accuracy of their data is now in question after leading retailer JB Hi Fi banned the European research company from collecting data in its stores.

Some digital radio manufacturers claim that JB Hi Fi could account for up to 30 per cent of all digital radio sales during the past year.

GFK also fails to track sales via the specialist retailers where digital radio units have been strong sellers.

Len Wallis of Len Wallis Audio in Sydney said, “We have had a lot of success selling digital radios. Price does not seem to be an issue, with the high-end Pure units proving extremely popular.”

In 2010, according to commercial Radio Australia, digital radio sales could climb to be over 250,000 units, lifting the overall penetration of the Australian market to over 400,000 units.

Frontier Silicon Founder and chief executive Anthony Sethill told The Australian newspaper that his company had shipped 150,000 DAB+ units to Australia since last July.

Commercial Radio Australia chief executive Joan Warner said the figure of 100,000 sets was in line with “the sorts of things we’re hearing”, but said the industry had not yet seen any official data. “We will have official figures … in March as well as some information on listening and independent research on consumer awareness and attitudes to digital radio,” she said.

Warner said that she anticipates digital radios to drop as low as $49 and that this will boost sales. 

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