Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) has released its first official report on DAB+ adoption in that country since the technology launched early last year, with the new service seemingly beating (or at least meeting) expectations.
The study combines Nielsen radio survey data with consumer perception data from the Hoop Group and retail electronics sales figures from GfK to paint a comprehensive picture of how consumers took to digital radio during its first six months (June 2009 - January 2010).
Among the more interesting points in the report:
In an average week in the five major urban markets where both analog and DAB+ radio are available, about 95 percent of persons surveyed reported listening to analog, with about 3.7 percent reporting DAB+ listening.
Awareness of DAB+ availability among respondents in digital markets was at 63 percent during the survey period.
The vast majority (69 percent) of all DAB+ radio listening was taking place at home, followed by 13 percent at work and 9 percent in car. The study notes that since no in-dash DAB+ radios were yet available, those numbers reflect the use of portable DAB+ receivers or adapters in vehicles.
72, 327 DAB+ SKUs had been sold in retail outlets as of Feb. 1, with an estimate of as many as 104,000 units shipped in country during the same period.
Perceptions of those actually using DAB+ were largely positive, with 80 percent of experienced DAB+ listeners saying they would recommend it to a friend, and 69 percent reporting they believed DAB+ had delivered on its promises.
The report concludes with several recommendations:
Broadcasters should work closely with retailers to improve overall consumer awareness along with enhanced awareness of DAB+ advantages.
A rapid increase in retail availability and selection of automotive DAB+ products is crucial to advancing adoption rates.
Allocation of VHF band III spectrum by regulators is needed for development of regional DAB+ multiplexes.
Commenting on the report's release, CRA Chief Executive Joan Warner said her organization's members were very pleased with the data, noting that progress during the first six months exceeded expectations.