Cars drive digital radio surge

CBT812 Cars drive digital radio surge

The automotive industry’s adoption of digital radio is driving demand and usage of the emerging platform according to the latest figures from Commercial Radio Australia.

The latest CRA report found that the number of digital radios in Australia has climbed to 3.8 million, with 1.42 million of those in cars. The remaining 2.37 million are either in homes or portable.

“More than 560,000 of the new cars sold in 2017 were fitted with DAB+ radio,” said CRA chief executive officer, Joan Warner.

Warner added that the adoption in cars is ahead of forecast.

“This is great news as it means more listeners are able to discover digital radio and the new digital-only stations on offer.”

The number of DAB+ digital radios generally in Australia continues to grow with strength, with the latest figures reflecting an increase of 24% in units in the past 12 months.

The CRA report also shows that 43% of all listeners in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth have access to a DAB+ digital radio either at home, at work or in the car.

As 2018 unfolds, digital radio services will be activated in Canberra, Darwin and Hobart and commercial broadcasters have identified another 13 regional areas for rollout in the next five years.

Speaking at a regional conference this month, Warner, who is also Vice President, WorldDAB (Asia-Pacific) provided an overview on how ASEAN countries can utilise DAB+ to unlock “economies of scale”.

Australia successfully launched DAB+ in 2009, but other countries in the region are only following now with trials in Indonesia and Myanmar, and Thailand, Malaysia and Laos making plans to go ahead with DAB+ technology. Vietnam is actively investigating digital radio with assistance from WorldDAB.  There is also an emerging interest in India and Sri Lanka.

 “People want more than just music,” she said, suggesting that informational services played a crucial role in meeting audience and community needs particularly in emerging markets.


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