Digital Radio vendors want better GFK sales data, with several executives airing their frustrations at the lack of accurate sales data from the European research company at a recent meeting of manufacturers and retailers organised by Commercial Radio Australia.
At the Sydney meeting, it was revealed that digital radio is one of the most profitable categories for retailers, particularly with modes over $399; however, vendors are frustrated at the lack of “accurate data”.
According Rob Thompson, General Manager at Pioneer Electronics, the distributor of the Pure digital radio brand, there is a serious shortage of accurate sales data.
“We believe that on value we are #1 in the digital radio market, which over the next 12 months is set to grow with the introduction of new sub $100 digital radios. However, we need better sales data. This was a key point of discussion at our recent meeting with Commercial Radio Australia,” Mr Thompson said.
Twelve months ago, GFK told vendors that it was set to start tracking digital radio sales. However, this data has not been made freely available to vendors, and industry body Commercial Radio Australia is set to release its own survey data shortly.
According to Mr Thompson, two of the most successful sellers of digital radios in Australia are Harvey Norman and Dick Smith.
Another major vendor spokesman, who did not want to be named, said, “There is a lot of concern that we have a category that appears to be growing but little if any accurate sales information. GFK said that it was set to track the category, but this appears not to have happened. There is also concern that data from JB Hi-Fi will not be included in GFK data going forward.”
According to Mr Thompson, this will not be as big an issue as the lack of overall data. “Up to now, JB Hi-Fi has not been a big seller of digital radios, particularly with Pure models. We are seeing a lot of high-end digital radios being sold by specialist dealers and this sales data is not being tracked at all by GFK,” he said.
At the recent advisory meeting, which was attended by most of the major mass retailers, it was revealed that Sony, JVC, Denon via Audio Products Australia and Target had all joined the advisory group.
The meeting, the first for 2010, heard that the digital radio market is set to grow in Australia with vendors and retailers set to team up with Commercial Radio Australia in the roll-out later this year of a major new joint marketing campaign.
The current retail members of the Broadcasters, Retailers and Manufacturers Advisory Group include: Pioneer Electronics, Audio Products Australia, Harvey Norman, Dick Smith, NARTA, Clive Peeters, The Good Guys, Myer, David Jones, Big W and Target, Sangean, Bush, Revo, Grundig, Teac, Yamaha, Oxx Digital, Denon, JVC, Sony, and Philips.
Joan Warner, the head of Commercial Radio Australia, is currently in India and not available to comment. GFK was also not available to comment.