By Patrick Avenell
SYDNEY, NSW: Digital radio sales and listening is on the rise, with Commercial Radio Australia and Sony both overflowing with happiness at improvements in the number of units in the marketplace and the number of people tuning in to digital stations.
According to CRA, there has been an 185 per cent increase in the number of units sold in the year in ending January 2011. Listenership is up to 5.6 per cent. In terms of real number figures, this equates to 691,000 people, up from 449,000.
CRA chief Joan Warner said that whilst these figures are encouraging, the industry body is still lobbying the Federal Government for a regional rollout and the motor industry for more in-car DAB+ receivers.
“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,” said Warner.
“Our priorities over the next 12 months will be to build the growing metropolitan audience and the range of receivers available to them, work on specific promotions with retailers, work with car manufacturers to get DAB+ radios into cars, and work with the Government to plan the regional rollout.
Sony Australia group manager Paul Colley echoed Warner’s enthusiasm for these results.
“Over the last 18 months, we’ve seen digital radio inject excitement into the long-standing, popular medium of radio, offering listeners improved sound quality and greater entertainment options,” he said.
“Digital radio is a growing category for Sony Australia and we’ve seen a steady increase in the uptake of our digital radio products over the last 12 months as more Australians realise the benefits of a digital tuner.
“Sony remains a strong supporter of the digital radio rollout across Australia. We plan to introduce further digital radio products to our range in 2011, offering Australians even more choice in quality, price and functionality.”
Meanwhile, DAB+ pioneer Pure Australasia has revealed that it will be launching its latest range of receivers in Sydney on 7 April 2011.