Record digital radio sales in June
Official data from GfK show that over 114,000 digital radios were sold in June 2010, a record for the month. Major contributors were the unprecedented schedule of digital content including World Cup coverage on BBC Radio 5 live, 5 live Sports Extra and TalkSport, Glastonbury coverage on BBC 6Music, and Isle of Wight festival coverage on Absolute Radio, together with the large scale cross-industry Radio Amnesty campaign.
The Radio Amnesty, which ran from the end of May to the end of June 2010, offered consumers a discount on a new digital radio in exchange for their analogue radio, collected to be reconditioned for charity or recycled. During the campaign participating retailers and manufacturers reported a sales increase in excess of + 20% and the overall market sales increase was 17%.
Reports from retailers have so far indicated that over 10,000 radios were traded in. These are currently being assessed and refurbished by RadioFix, the radio repairs service, and a quarter of them have already been allocated to the Children's Radio Foundation in Southern Africa, where they will support the personal and intellectual development of children through giving them access to radio programmes. Radios which are beyond repair will be recycled under the WEEE Directive.
The Radio Amnesty was developed by the BBC and Digital Radio UK with the full support of commercial radio, radio manufacturers and retailers. On-air promotions featuring Stephen Fry, Noddy Holder, Robert Webb, Gaby Roslin and Gabby Logan ran prominently for almost 5 weeks across commercial radio and the BBC, including Classic FM, Magic FM, Smooth, Absolute Radio, TalkSport, over a hundred local commercial radio stations, most digital-only stations, BBC Radios 2, 4, 5 Live and 7 and BBC local radio stations. This marked the start of a multi-year campaign to boost digital listening developed by AMV BBDO.
The group of manufacturers and retailers involved, who offered discounts on selected models included: PURE, Roberts, Alba, Bush, MagicBox, Panasonic, Philips, Proline, Sony, Argos, Comet, John Lewis, Tesco, House of Fraser, Amazon and leading independent electrical retailers.
Ford Ennals, Chief Executive of Digital Radio UK, said:
"The Radio Amnesty has been an unqualified success. It gave listeners an added incentive to get digital radio and discover a wealth of amazing sports and music coverage, at the same time as supporting children's charities in Southern Africa. It demonstrates how much we can achieve when we work together as an industry and we look forward to the Amnesty becoming an annual event in the retail calendar."
BBC Radio 5 live Controller Adrian Van-Klaveren said: "It's great that Radio Amnesty has been such a success, helping contribute to a worthwhile charitable cause and allowing new listeners access to what has been a great summer of sport."
Colin Crawford, PURE, said:
"PURE recorded its strongest ever UK sales for June with volumes up by 20% year on year, attributed to the World Cup, Wimbledon and the Radio Amnesty. June is traditionally a slow month so the uplift generated is very welcome. The success on the Amnesty proves that more and more people are tuning into digital in the UK."
Andrew Rose, Radio Buyer, Argos, said:
"The Radio Amnesty has proven to be an extraordinary success for Argos and our customers. We took back four times as many analogue radio trade-ins than we originally forecast, offering our customers a fantastic trade-up opportunity into this fast-growing technology."
Elizabeth Sachs, President and Founder, Children's Radio Foundation, said:
"Giving children radios is in fact giving them access to a world of information, ideas, and inspiration. We're proud to be working with the BBC to provide young South Africans with radios."
About Digital Radio UK
Digital Radio UK works with Government, broadcasters, manufacturers, retailers, and a wide range of stakeholders to accelerate digital listening, to enable the expansion of the digital radio platform, and to ensure that industry meets the consumer-led criteria to be achieved by 2013, for a proposed radio switchover in 2015. Digital Radio UK's Board comprises representatives from the BBC, RadioCentre, Arqiva, Global Radio, Bauer Media, GMG Radio, Intellect and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
About digital radio
43% of radio listeners listen to digital radio each week (20 million listeners, an increase of 2.5 million listeners from last year). Digital radio accounts for 24% of total radio listening. Over 11 million digital radios have been sold and digital radios are in 35% of all homes.