Data newly released by Commercial Radio Australia indicates that more than 400,000 DAB+ digital radios have been sold in Australia since the service's launch in 2009, with more than 700,000 listeners tuning into Australian digital radio stations every week.
The Commercial Radio Australia data (PDF) indicates that 5.6 per cent of the radio listening market is digital — up from 3.7 per cent throughout 2010. The results, which include information gathered by Nielsen and market researcher GfK, show that the average price of a digital radio in Australia is $105 — a far cry from the near-$200 price tags of basic digital radios sold in 2009. Digital radio consumers listen to DAB+ radio for an average of 11hr 11min every week, twice the amount of time spent listening by Internet radio users.
Consumers are also increasingly conscious of digital radio services around the country, with 78 per cent of survey respondents aware of the availability of DAB+ stations and radios — a 15 per cent rise in awareness since the start of 2010. A 'conservative' estimate of 14 per cent uptake of digital radio in Australian homes is forecast for 2014.
Commercial Radio Australia's chief executive officer Joan Warner believes that the DAB+ service is still in its infancy: "We're very pleased with these latest figures but recognise there is still much work to be done, particularly in relation to the roll-out of digital radio to the rest of Australia.
"Our priorities over the next 12 months will be to build the growing metropolitan audience and the range of receivers available to them, [to] work on specific promotions with retailers, [to] work with car manufacturers to get DAB+ radios into cars, and work with the government to plan the regional rollout."
Almost 40 digital radio stations operate in metropolitan areas around Australia. In some areas up to 20 of these are digital-only stations, producing content not heard on FM or AM broadcasts.