Digital Radio Is Having Positive Financial Impact for Commercial Broadcasters in Australia

Joan Warner, the CEO of Commercial Radio Australia, said the increase in DAB+ devices was expected to continue in 2018
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SYDNEY — The number of DAB+ digital radios in Australia climbed to 3.8 million in 2017, up 24% over the past 12 months, according to Commercial Radio Australia.

Joan Warner, the CEO of Commercial Radio Australia, said the increase in DAB+ devices was expected to continue in 2018, and that digital radio is now standard equipment in 47% of all new vehicles being sold. “More than 560,000 of the new cars sold in 2017 were fitted with DAB+ radio,” she said. “The adoption in cars is ahead of forecast, which is great news as it means more listeners are able to discover digital radio and the new digital-only stations on offer.”

43% of listeners in the five regional capitals of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth now have access to DAB+ digital radio at home, at work or in the car, according to CRA, and permanent digital radio services are being brought up in Canberra, Darwin and Hobart this year. Commercial radio broadcasters have identified another 13 regions as priority markets for the DAB+ rollout within the next five years — including Newcastle, Dubbo, Goulburn and Albury.

Recent radio ratings figures by GfK show an average of 3.77 million people in the five metropolitan markets, or 28% of the available audience, listened to DAB+ each week in 2017.

“It’s time to start talking about our digital audiences in the same breath as the rest of our stations.” said Brian Gallagher, Chief Sales Officer of Australian broadcaster Southern Cross Austereo, according to radioinfo.com.au.

The combined FM and digital audiences of SCA’s Hit Network and Triple M delivered an unduplicated reach of 5,120,000. This represents an additional 360,000 listeners or an increase of 7.6% over just the analog outlets alone. “Measuring an aggregated analog and digital audience means we are giving our clients the ability to access more reach than ever before with an additional 360,000 listeners. And SCA is able to monetize all of our stations, be they FM or digital,” said Gallagher.

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