Digital radio in cars predicted to double

Projections by PwC for DAB+ digital radio show that nearly 60% of new vehicles sold in Australia in 2021 will be fitted with a digital radio, forecasting nearly double the number of current new vehicles fitted with the technology.  

PwC projects that close to 4 million new vehicles fitted with DAB+ will be sold by the end of 2021, up from 862,426 at the end of 2016.

Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) released the PwC forecast today and announced DAB+ digital only station listening figures would now be distributed eight times a year. 

Beginning tomorrow (Tuesday 21 March) and for the first time since the launch of DAB+ digital radio broadcasts at the end of 2009, audience numbers for all DAB+ only stations will be released one week after the official metropolitan GfK radio ratings. 

CRA Board Chair and COO of Macquarie Media Limited, Adam Lang said:

“Radio companies in Australia are exploiting the opportunities being delivered by the digital radio DAB+ platform. There are now more digital radio only stations than ever, giving increased choice to the audience and to advertisers. The release of DAB+ figures each survey is another milestone in the growth of digital radio technology and the PwC vehicle forecast supports the ongoing growth in cars over the next five years. From tomorrow, GfK radio audience subscribers can analyse data for the digital only stations in the Gold Standard accredited software, making it even easier to incorporate these stations and a full network offer in a media plan.” 

Chief executive officer of industry body, CRA, Joan Warner said: “The radio industry is committed to a digital broadcast future via DAB+, combined with and complemented by online. Releasing DAB+ only station figures eight times a year will highlight the new opportunities the industry’s additional free-to-air DAB+ only broadcast stations now provide for agencies and advertisers.”

In-car listening remains one of the most popular ways for Australians to listen to radio and growing audiences on the road are expected to contribute to the significant growth of DAB+ over the next five years. Last year saw popular vehicle brands Honda and Mazda adopt DAB+ digital radio in Australia, joining the 33 other brands to include the technology. 

Further announcements of additional popular motor vehicle brands incorporating DAB+ broadcast technology are expected in the next 12 months.  

Canberra, Darwin, Gold Coast and Hobart are next in line for permanent DAB+ digital radio services.  Commercial broadcasters are working closely with the ABC and SBS on regional rollout plans, coordinating launch dates, with permanent digital radio services expected to commence by early 2018.
Figures currently show that 3.6 million Australians, or 27% of the population in the five capital cities, listen to digital radio via DAB+ devices each week.

There are now more than 45 extra DAB+ only stations on offer in the five metropolitan capitals, including targeted formats such as talk, news, sport, children’s programming, country, chillout, dance music and short term pop-up stations focused on events or particular seasons.

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