Modern technology gives us many things.

Australians embracing digital radio

dabthumbdigital radio

Digital radio is a hit in Australia after figures released by Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) revealed more than 700,000 people listening each week.

There are also 406,012 digital radios in the five state metropolitan capitals – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

That’s a 5.9 per cent increase in the number of listeners compared to the previous year and a massive 185 per cent rise in digital radio sales.

“The commercial radio industry has spent more than $25 million dollars on an ongoing and extensive digital radio marketing strategy and campaign and continues to work collaboratively with digital radio retailers and manufacturers to build the awareness with listeners,” CRA chief executive officer, Joan Warner said.

“We’re very pleased with these latest figures but recognise there is still much work to be done, particularly in relation to the roll out of digital radio to the rest of Australia.

“Our priorities over the next 12 months will be to build the growing metropolitan audience and the range of receivers available to them;  work on specific promotions with retailers; work with car manufacturers to get  DAB+ radios in to cars; and work with the Government to plan the regional rollout.”

Digital radio offers several benefits over regular radio including clearer transmissions, the ability to rewind live broadcasts and a data stream which can display things like talk-back phone numbers and the name of the song playing.

The Oxx Digital and Internet radio

Other findings in CRA’s report include:

* We are listening to digital radio each week longer –  11 hours and 11 minutes each which is up by two hours and 55 minutes since the first survey in 2010.

* Time spent listening to DAB+ digital radio has now overtaken the number of people who listen to radio on the internet by two to one.

* Awareness of digital radio has risen to 78 per cent – it was 63 per cent at the beginning of last year.

* Of those who have already bought a digital radio, 87 per cent would recommend it to a friend.

* It is estimated the penetration of digital radio will rise to about 16 per cent by 2014.

What is also helping the adoption of digital radio is the support by radio broadcasters who are launching new digital-only services with up to 20 new DAB+ stations.

There have also been 13 “pop-up” stations for short term stints to coincide with concerts and other special events.

Customers will now find there are more than 80 different digital radio models with prices now dropping to an average of $105.