Digital radio landmark reached

Digital radio reaches a major landmark in the lead-up to Christmas, as GfK Retail and Technology* announces that 12 million digital radios have been sold in total in the UK. Digital Radio UK estimates that due to strong Christmas sales over two million digital radios will be sold during 2010, and that a cumulative total of 20 million digital radios will be sold by the end of 2013.

Retailers and manufacturers such as John Lewis, PURE and Roberts herald the success of digital radio this Christmas and report record levels of sales. The increase in digital radio sales is being driven by attractive new price points, digital radios with iPod docks, hybrid DAB/internet radios, and high levels of awareness and interest in digital radio following the Government's launch of the Digital Radio Action Plan.

This milestone is part of building momentum for the transition to digital radio in the UK which is also evidenced by progress on cars, with the announcement that the UK's second best-selling car, the Ford Focus, will come with digital radio as standard from March 2011; additional digital radio services from Absolute Radio** and Kiss***; and the move to digital radio in Europe, with Germany announcing the 2011 launch of digital radio using the DAB family of standards.

Ford Ennals, Chief Executive of Digital Radio UK, said:
"With 12 million digital radios now sold in the UK, digital radio is now more popular than ever. People who have digital radio love it, and they love the choice of all the stations they get now, plus extra stations such as BBC 6 Music, Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, Smooth UK, Planet Rock and Absolute 80s, to name but a few. The launch of Smooth UK, Kiss and Capital as national brands early next year, and the launch of RadioPlayer, will ensure that digital radio gathers further momentum."

Owen Watters, Sales and Marketing Director of Roberts Radio, said:
"Reaching the milestone of 12 million units of DAB radios sold in the UK is a great endorsement of DAB technology. At ROBERTS we have enjoyed record sales this November with DAB leading the way. There has never been a better time to purchase a DAB radio with new stations being added regularly and coverage improving on a daily basis. We are committed to securing a digital future for radio and look forward to even more listeners enjoying DAB radio in the coming months."

Colin Crawford, Marketing Director of PURE, said:
"Reaching sales of 12 million is an important milestone for digital radio and for achieving digital radio switchover in the UK. Signs are very encouraging for a strong sales period for this year's peak selling season and as the pioneer of digital radio and the UK's leading digital radio brand, we at PURE are working hard to continue to innovate and bring new and exciting products to market to help meet the criteria set by the government to achieve digital radio switchover as quickly as possible."

Adrian Northover Smith, Head of Corporate Affairs for Sony UK, said:
"This is an excellent milestone for digital radio and we are very pleased with progress - this year looks strong with DAB radios with iPod docks selling particularly well. We look forward to another positive year in 2011."

Rob Hennessy, Head of Audio, John Lewis Partnership, said:
"Digital radios offer the widest choice of quality radio stations, and are continuing to sell well in the lead-up to Christmas. Whether you opt for Internet or DAB John Lewis has an extensive range of products to choose from, and Sales assistants who can help you make the right choice."

* Source: GfK Retail and Technology, December 2010
** Absolute Radio announced on 29 November that Absolute Radio 90s was staying as a permanent national service, and also announced the launch of Absolute Radio 00s on 10 December.
*** On 16 December Ofcom gave permission to Bauer to relaunch Kiss as a single national station using local DAB.

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. The Digital Radio Action Plan announced by the Government in July supports the industry target of a 2015 digital radio switchover.

About Digital Radio
Digital listening is now 24.8% of all radio listening, according to RAJAR Q3 data, and over 35% of UK homes have a digital radio. Over 12 million digital radios have been sold to date, according to GfK RT (December 2010). 

21.12.2010 | General

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