Weekly listeners for DAB+ exclusive radio stations climb to 2.35 million: GfK | radioinfo

Weekly listeners for DAB+ exclusive radio stations climb to 2.35 million: GfK

Tuesday 02 March, 2021

Australia’s DAB+ digital radio-only stations attracted a weekly audience of 2.35 million people in 2020, an increase of 15% from 2.04 million in 2019, according to GfK data released by Commercial Radio Australia.
The weekly audience for all DAB+ stations, including AM and FM stations simulcasting on DAB+, reached 4 million*.
CRA chief executive officer Joan Warner says 11 commercial DAB+ stations each ended the year with a national weekly audience above 100,000 listeners^, “DAB+ audiences have grown as a result of broadcasters enhancing their digital radio formats and car manufacturers continuing to add DAB+ radios to their vehicle ranges.
“Car sales recovered strongly in the last two months of the year as a result of consumers buying new vehicles for domestic road trips. This contributed to a total of 700,000 new vehicles with DAB+ on the road during 2020.”
 The figures compiled by automotive business intelligence group Glass’s Information Services show that 77% of new vehicles sold during the year were equipped with DAB+.
GfK’s point of sales report estimates that consumers purchased 129,000 DAB+ receivers in 2020, bringing total DAB+ receiver sales to 2.8 million since the broadcasting technology was launched in Australia.
The technology is on air in the five major metro markets as well as Hobart, Darwin, Canberra and Mandurah. Commercial broadcasters on the Gold Coast are in the process of working with the ACMA to roll out DAB+ in that market.
Top rating commercial DAB+ stations nationally include Coles Radio, ARN’s The 80s and The 90s, OldSkool Hits, Triple M Classic Rock, Smooth Relax, Edge Digital, Urban Hits, Triple M Country, 2CH and Buddha Hits^.
Sources: GfK Radio Ratings, SMBAP S1-2 & 6-8 2020 Cume (000), Mon-Sun I2mn-I2mn, All People I0+, unless otherwise stated, comparisons made with SMBAP, S1-2 & 6-8 2019. *GfK Radio Ratings, SMBAP S1-2 & 6-8 2020 & Canberra S1 2020. ^GfK Radio Ratings, SMBAP S8 2020.
Glass’s Information Services Report, December 2020
GfK Point of Sales DAB+ Fusion report, inclusive of market coverage extrapolation to represent 100% sales coverage, includes product categories such as audio home systems, clock radios, portable radios and boombboxes.



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Ingram at TheNewsManual
3 March 2021 - 4:07pm
While one must applaud the indefatigable Joan Warner for her unwavering championing of DAB+ in Australia, let’s take a quick reality check of where we are in the 11 years since digital radio was first rolled out here. Even optimistically assuming everyone in every capital city – and Mandurah – can actually receive DAB+, that still leaves about 10-million Australians who cannot. And while it’s probably true many people now have digital radios in their new cars for those great “domestic road trips”, I hope no-one thinks they’ll actually be able to use them outside the capitals – and Mandurah. So while we rightly talk up the blessings of DAB+ in the major radio markets, can we please remember that a glass half full is also a glass half empty. And if you’re one of those offered the empty half it’s little consolation to know how many people have been enjoying the glass half full for more than a decade. I’m long retired, but I can still remember representing SBS in early negotiations into the introduction of digital radio on how the spectrum would be allocated between the commercial, public and community broadcasters. Ah, those heady days at the beginning of the 21st Century! I try to keep fit and healthy in retirement but I’m growing increasingly despondent I will ever hear DAB+ here on the NSW MidCoast in my lifetime.
8 March 2021 - 3:15pm
The problem with DAB+ is that it is the highest frequency used by broadcasters and as a result has the smallest coverage area.
There are only 8 transmission channels available in Australia because the rest are used for television. This means that high powered DAB+ transmitters must be at least 335 km apart when the content is not identical. Remember that the ABC has local radio which has unique programming per area as does commercial radio for advertising and some program content.
The big advantage of DAB+ is that it can carry 18 programs on a single transmitter. In country areas where is the advertising to pay for 18 programs?
By comparision Digital Radio Mondiale can be transmitted using the old now vacant TV channels 0 - 2 which contains 208 transmission channels enabling much greater geographic diversity. Each transmission channel can carry 3 programs. There is now a 6 DRM+ modulator which can carry all of the 18 ABC/SBS programs on a single transmitter per site and a much bigger coverage area.
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