This is the highest figures since DAB+ digital radio was first launched 5 years ago.
21.4% or 2.8 million people now listen to digital radio across the five capital cities including Sydney, Melbourne and Perth every week, the 2014 Digital Radio Report released today, shows.
But 1.2 million more people listen to DAB+ via digital radio than streaming via the internet. Most people listen to digital radio at home (70%), followed by at work.
This, and the fact older age groups listen to digital radio more, may have something to do with the trend towards higher DAB+ radio usage.
Digital radio sales are outperforming expectations – nearly 1.7 million digital radios have been sold. 100,000 new vehicles have been purchased with DAB+ digital radio installed, to date, the report released by Commercial Radio Australia, shows.
16 different Australian vehicle brands now offering DAB+ as either standard or an option, compared to just 8 a year ago. Support from the big car manufacturers is expected to continue.
Commercial Radio Australia Chief, Joan Warner credited the support from car manufactures for the record listenership figures.
“Listening to live, local radio in the car is important to our listeners and the number of vehicles sold with a DAB+ digital radio is an outstanding result, showing great support from the automotive industry in Australia.”
“All the radio industry – commercial and ABC and SBS – support digital radio and listeners are embracing the technology. ”
However, rollout of digital coverage rollout to regional areas remains slow.
We are currently approaching the Federal Government to discuss commencing planning for the rollout of digital radio into regional Australia, Warner confirmed.
In February the CRA, ABC and SBS asked the Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, to establish a Digital Radio Industry Planning committee to establish a timetable for regional rollout in 100 licence areas not yet covered.
However, no target dates for rollout have yet been set but there are low level trials taking place in Canberra and Darwin.
95% of Australian are in favour of digital radio coverage in regional areas, the Digital Radio report shows.
PwC has re-estimated DAB+ penetration figure higher at 23.3% for 2014, on the back of the strong figures.
Dick Smith are offering 30% off Bush DAB+ digital radios as part of a Father Day DAB+ ad blitz and its likely other retailers, too, will also be pushing sales of the devices.
The new DAB+ ads will also be highlighting digital radio is free-to-air and now includes 20 extra radio stations in each city.