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DAB+ Digital Radio Audience Grows, Boosted By In-Car Listening

The audience continues to grow for DAB+ digital radio, GfK’s latest digital radio report shows, with industry body Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) noting numbers have been aided by a solid growth in in-car listening.

The report shows that DAB+ digital radio gained 168,000 listeners to reach 3.52 million in five metropolitan capital cities, CRA today advised, with another 91,900 new vehicles sold with DAB+ installed in the 2016 first quarter.

“Over 30 per cent of new cars sold in the 12 months ending March were fitted with DAB+ digital radio, and the good news is we are now seeing digital radio available in more mass-market cars and not just in the luxury end of the market,” Joan Warner, CRA chief executive officer, commented.

Total Australian DAB+ radio vehicle sales have now reached 553,000, with Honda having become the 28th car brand in Australia to support digital radio.

The report additionally shows that 26.3 per cent of Australians had listened to radio via a DAB+ digital radio in the first three survey periods of the year, with 2.62 million tuning into DAB+ simulcasts of AM and FM stations and 1.42 million listening to digital-only stations.

Melbourne (1,173,000 at 27.5 per cent) and Sydney (1,106,000 at 25.8 per cent) led the way nationally, followed by Brisbane (495,000 at 25.3 per cent), Perth (441,000 at 25.4 per cent) and Adelaide (303,000 at 26.9 per cent).

The highest rating commercial DAB+-only stations during the period were: Coles Radio, Triple M Classic Rock, Edge Digital, Buddha and The 80s iHeartRadio (formerly Pure Gold 80s).

CRA notes that recent developments include the launch of Melbourne Greek-language station Rythmos and Southern Cross Austereo’s launch of two new stations, Oldskool Radio and Easy Radio, with Southern Cross Austereo to partner with the Seven Network to create a new DAB+ pop-up station for the Olympic Games called 7 Rio Live.

Media entrepreneur Glenn Wheatley will launch EON Sports Radio on DAB+ in July, CRA stated, Australia’s first 24/7 digital sports radio network, broadcasting sports such as the A-League and NBL, with EON to be the exclusive Australian audio broadcaster of the English Premier League.

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