Steady growth for digital audio

February 1, 2006

While terrestrial radio continues to develop and market a digital transmission system, other digital audio services, including satellite radio, Internet radio and podcasting, are competing for the same potential listeners. Consumer buying research shows that personal electronics sales will continue to increase in the coming years. Consumer acceptance of HD Radio is a prime concern for stations adopting the technology.

According to Forrester Research, the number of households that use digital audio in some way will steadily increase over the next four years. Figure 1 compares the adoption of various forms of digital audio within these households, including HD Radio.

Digital audio usage with PCs and Internet radio will track the number of households. Broadband usage is expected to grow at a faster rate, which will likely facilitate the Internet radio, podcasting and media player adoption. Meanwhile, satellite radio's growth will slightly trail the trend.

Podcasting and HD Radio are expected to grow in a similar trend, although they will lag the growth slightly through 2007 before joining pace with it.

Data Source: The Future of Digital Audio, 2005, Forrester Research

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