DAB+ digital radio grows 24% to 3.8m units in past year

Former Assistant Editor

The number of DAB+ digital radios in Australia continues to grow with strength, as latest numbers show an increase of 24% in units in the past 12 months.

Commercial Radio Australia‘s latest figures show that the number of digital radios in the country has climbed to 3.8 million – with 1.42 million of those in cars and another 2.37 million either in homes or portable.

“More than 560,000 of the new cars sold in 2017 were fitted with DAB+ radio,” said CRA chief executive officer Joan Warner.

“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.”

The CRA report also shows that 43% of all listeners in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth have access to a DAB+ digital radio either at home, at work or in the car.

2018 will also see permanent digital radio services activated in Canberra, Darwin and Hobart, while commercial broadcasters have identified another 13 regional areas for rollout in the next five years.

Official radio ratings, care of GfK, state that 3.77 million people in the five major metropolitan markets listened to DAB+ each week in 2017. That’s 28% of the available audience.

The first combined metro and DAB+ radio survey for 2018 is released Tuesday, March 13.

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12 Mar 2018 - 5:15 pm

The rollout to regional areas is too slow. The Gold Coast and Newcastle should be live by now. So painfully slow. The only way DAB+ is going to be a success is to get it out there in the larger regional centres NOW.

13 Mar 2018 - 1:04 am

DAB+ is a poor choice for regional areas.
This is because most regional areas have a single broadcaster who has a primary AM licence and a supplementary FM licence. ie 2 program streams. This means that a DAB+ broadcasting cost cannot be shared amongst other broadcasters. In metro areas a single DAB+ is carrying 27 programs.
DAB+ transmitters are usually located at regional TV transmitter sites. These may not be close to the area served and at high power transmitter cannot cover more than 100 km radius, and no other DAB+ transmitter within 360 km. There is only 8 DAB+ transmission channels available.

Contrast that with DRM which can be radiated by existing AM transmitters with the same coverage area but the power consumption drops to 60 % of an AM mode.
DRM+ using the old analog channels 0 – 2 each broadcaster can carry 3 music programs per transmission channel and there is 178 of them.


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