Australia

Last update: 04.03.2021 - older versions

DAB+ launched in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth in late 2009, followed by Canberra and Darwin in 2017, Hobart in April 2019 and Darwin in May 2019, as well as Canberra in July 2019 and Mandurah in December 2019.

More than 6 million DAB+ radios have been sold in Australia since digital radio launched in the five major capital cities in 2009. GfK’s point of sales report estimates that consumers purchased 129,000 DAB+ receivers in 2020.

PwC projects that close to 4 million new vehicles fitted with DAB+ will be sold by the end of 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 industry body Commercial Radio Australia.

Further information: 

 

 

Last update: 26.05.2021 - older versions

Population coverage in Australia stands at 63% (Q2 2020).

DAB+ low power trials which commenced in 2010 in Canberra and Darwin continue, this includes a retransmission of the Canberra services inside Parliament House. 

DAB+ was officially launched in Hobart in April 2019, while DAB+ is also set to launch in Darwin and Canberra in 2019.

 Regional Rollout

The Australian Government  released in July 2015 a report, prepared by the Department of Communications, on digital radio services in Australia. The Digital Radio Report recommended the establishment of a Digital Radio Planning Committee for Regional Australia, to be chaired by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, to focus on the rollout of digital radio to regional areas.

The Government expects that the Planning Committee would give priority to the licensing of permanent digital radio services in Canberra and Darwin, where trials have been underway since 2010, before planning the rollout in new areas of Australia.

The report also recommended that the Government should provide a simpler, more flexible process for planning and licensing of digital radio in regional Australia. The Planning Committee may provide an appropriate forum to develop proposals to simplify the regulatory framework.

Commercial Radio Australia is pleased to note the signal of support for regional DAB+ rollout in the report.  

The report is available at: https://communications.gov.au/publications/digital-radio-report

Visit http://www.digitalradioplus.com.au/can-i-get-digital-radio  

 

Last update: 03.03.2021 - older versions

In this country there are

on air.

Please note:

(a)    These web pages are updated regularly to reflect current services on air, however they may not be exactly up to date.

(b)    The logos shown on these pages are for illustrative purposes only – manufacturers and broadcasters are directed here for information on implementing station logos.

A full listing of the services on air in Australia is available at http://www.digitalradioplus.com.au/

CRA reports 139 stations are broadcasting on DAB+ in Australia, with up to 30 DAB+ only stations in each mainland state capital city. There are currently 13 regular regional multiplexes and 2 trial regional multiplexes on air broadcasting nearly 210 DAB+ services between them, with most multiplex delivering 18 or more services. There are 74 radio stations on AM/FM in the five capital cities, counting commercial, ABC and SBS but not community stations.

Almost all stations in Australia are using slideshow and all are delivering dynamic scrolling text.

There is no format restriction for Australian DAB+ services, so stations can develop new formats and test the audience’s interest in these digital only services. Stations include dance, children’s programming, chill, 80s, 90s, classic, jazz, indie and world music as well as sport and talk. Pop up stations have been used for cultural celebrations, anniversaries of major events, floods and emergencies. Revenue is being made on branded radio stations for retail clients and advertisers and state capital city. All services have DAB+ broadcast text and slideshow data included, with many stations having track now playing, news and weather information, as well as advertisements in their slideshow broadcasts. At least one ensemble in each city is broadcasting an Electronic Programme Guide (EPG). 

Coutts Report

A report by Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) and written by Professor Reg Coutts, found that mobile broadband communications networks, particularly in regional areas, are not a replacement for broadcast free to air radio.

The Coutts Report highlights that mobile networks in regional Australia are less cost effective compared to a potential DAB+ digital radio rollout in regional areas.  Even with upgraded 4G networks using the most advanced LTE broadcast mode, there are technical and economic reasons for radio to be delivered using free to air broadcast technology in both regional and metropolitan areas.

The Coutts report cleared up a lot of misperceptions around the future of broadcast radio, mobile networks and the delivery of radio online showing it may not yet, or even in the longer term, be technically or financially viable.

Key findings are listed below and the full Coutts Report is available at www.digitalradioplus.com.au

Digital radio station Innovation
Australian broadcasters have innovated with the use of event or pop up stations which are digital stations that exist for a short period of time to allow for flexible niche programming that can highlight an event, a festival or artist. They can be used for generating additional revenue, broadcasting emergency service warnings during fire or the recent Queensland floods and also for broadcasting sports or music events. For example Elf Radio plays Christmas songs throughout the festive season and the Chemist Warehouse station was established specifically for an advertising client and that station has been so successful for the broadcaster and client that it will continue on air. 

Coles supermarkets and Nova Entertainment  have signed a major partnership to digitally stream Coles Radio to over 750 stores - reaching over 14 million customers nationally, every week. Using the Coles digital network, Coles Radio is set up to enhance the customer in-store experience with a rich music format offering an extensive playlist that is tailored to the time of day.  Read the press release here.

 

Simulcast on AM / FM Exclusive on digital Total of services
DAB+ programmes 239 152 391

Last update: 15.07.2022 - older versions

More than 4.4 million new vehicles have been sold in Australia with DAB+ digital radio factory fitted, since the adoption of DAB+ in vehicles in Australia in 2011.

More than 821,000* new vehicles were sold with DAB+ factory fitted in the 12 months to 31 December 2021. This figure is expected to grow as vehicle manufacturers extend support across their range. 78% of new vehicles sold in Australia during the past 12 months had DAB+ digital radio factory fitted as a standard or optional feature.         

Commercial Radio Australia works closely with vehicle manufacturers in Australia and overseas and encourages their continued support for AM & FM as well as DAB+ digital radio in vehicle in-car infotainment systems. 

DAB+ digital radio in car reception maps are available to download. These show the current coverage of DAB+ and provide a guide as to where your DAB+ radio is expected to receive good signal. Terrain may provide some small black spots within these coverage areas, but in general DAB+ reception should be good. The red line indicates the licence area where coverage is intended.  Plans to infill black spots in coverage are underway.

Currently, analogue (AM/FM) signals are re-broadcast into tunnels. This is the responsibility of the tunnel operators. There is currently no in-tunnel rebroadcasting of the DAB+ signal but this can be revisited as more DAB+ enabled radios are available in cars.

 

 

 

* Glass’s Automotive Business Intelligence, December 2021

Last update: 04.03.2021 - older versions

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.

RadioApp

• November 21 the Australian radio industry launched RadioApp

• It provides access to more than 250 live and local Australian radio stations from around the country – public & commercial

• All DAB+, AM & FM stations will be easily accesible via the app on smartphones, tablets etc

Mobile phones

Many mobile phones include FM radio and radio stations have created apps to enable listeners to listen to AM, FM and DAB+ stations via mobile stream. CRA is working internationally with other broadcasters, telcos, handset manufacturers and organisations to ensure that, just as for FM, a DAB+ chip will become standard in mobile phones to enable listeners to access all stations via DAB+ free to air broadcast. Increasingly hybrid radio will offer broadcasters greater opportunities to connect with their listeners and clients in real time. 

Find a stockist

For a list of retailers stocking digital radios in the Australian market please visit

https://www.digitalradioplus.com.au/find-a-stockist

Last update: 07.05.2019 - older versions

Work continues on the launch of permanent commercial DAB+ services in Hobart and Canberra in 2019.

The radio industry is committed to a digital broadcast future via DAB+ combined with and complemented by online. This is considered important in terms of spectrum efficiency and operational costs. CRA continues to discuss financial support with the Federal Government for DAB+ rollout into regions as was provided to the television industry for its digital switchover. 

Last update: 21.06.2018 - older versions

Key features of the current regulation for digital radio in metropolitan Australia are:

  • Band III
  • No cost for spectrum or licences while analogue is operating
  • 128 kb per existing commercial/private analogue station
  • No end date for licences
  • Commercial broadcasters have their own multiplexes in each of the current five large markets
  • Public service broadcasters have their own multiplex
  • First option for broadcasters – not a third party – to own the licence for the multiplex
  • No new DAB+ only operators for six years from date of switch on in each market
  • No format restrictions for existing operators or limits on new DAB+ only stations on what they can offer
  • No restriction on amount of data allowed
  • No analogue switch off date agreed as yet
  • In smaller regions, it may be that public service and commercial broadcasters share a multiplex to keep costs down
  • 11 on-channel repeaters are licenced and rollout commenced.


The Federal Government has allocated 14 megahertz of spectrum in the VHF Band III 3 channels of which are used in the capital cities and the remaining 8 will be planned for the rollout of DAB+ digital radio to regional areas. The ACMA has completed a restack of Band III and UHF spectrum following the switch off of analogue television at the end of 2013.

As part of the Minister’s recommended Joint Digital Radio Planning Group, CRA is working with the public and community broadcasters, the Department of Communications  and the  the regulatory body ACMA a to enable the most cost effective and most efficient use of the available spectrum for the regional rollout of DAB+ digital radio.

The current regulatory framework in the five state metropolitan capitals allocates each incumbent broadcaster with permanent DAB+ services an entitlement to a minimum of 128kbit/s (1/9 multiplex) and a maximum of 256kbit/s (1/5 multiplex).  Given the likelihood of shared multiplexes in regional Australia, these allocations may change in the first phase of regional rollout to accommodate a single shared multiplex.

Further information:

Last update: 03.12.2019 - older versions

The awareness of digital radio continues to improve as a result of the brand awareness campaigns and retail promotions. A number of on-air radio, online and social media campaigns run across the 42 commercial metropolitan stations and digital only stations each year. The primary objective of these campaigns is to promote and educate listeners about the key benefits of DAB+ digital radio, including improved sound quality and greater station choice.

 

Past Campaigns

Five Reasons to Upgrade to DAB+

The campaign likens the switch to DAB+ to the transition of TV from analogue to digital, and focuses on the benefits of upgrading, including better sound quality and extra stations.

Download the full release and infographic.

Digital Radio. It's the Box You Can't Beat 

Building on the highly successful previous Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Christmas digital radio campaigns, a series of four  radio ads and a video (below), were played across all DAB+ digital radio stations plus 42 commercial stations in the five state metropolitan markets of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. 

 

 

Largest DAB+ campaign commissioned by the commercial radio industry in Australia

In December 2019, the commercial radio industry launched a landmark consumer-focused DAB+ digital radio campaign, which highlighted that radio is the ultimate soundtrack to any situation. The new multimedia marketing campaign was the largest ever DAB+ campaign commissioned by the commercial radio industry since DAB+ services launched in Australia 10 years earlier.

The first phase of the campaign ran during December 2019 and January 2020 and consisted of short and long-form video content and four radio ads.  The radio ads aired across all markets where DAB+ is broadcast, metropolitan and regional, while the video content was primarily shared in the digital and social space. A second phase of activity is planned for 2020.

 

Last update: 13.08.2015 - older versions

Bushfires and floods are regularly experienced in Australia. A pop up station, 4TAB FLOOD was put on air to offer information and advice to the people of Queensland during serious flooding which affected large populations. CRA and the trial broadcasters in Canberra and Darwin have been working closely to standardise feeds into a broadcast aggregator using feeds from the Emergency Management agencies and the Bureau of Meteorology to source and appropriately escalate information for display over broadcast text and slideshow.  This allows DAB+ to offer potentially lifesaving information simultaneously to the public over robust, free to air networks using the low powered DAB+ receivers in the home or car.

CBAA creates community DAB+ directory
21.02.2024 - Australia Australia
The Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) has created a directory of community radio DAB+ stations. Some are also simulcast on AM or FM radio, others are exclusively digital stations. At present there are more than sixty community radio services available via DAB+ across Australia which you can find using the CBAA directory link. The directory provides additional information on the type of content the station provides. Commercial Radio and Audio (CRA) provide a similar directory of DAB+ stations.

(radioinfo) Read more


World Radio Day celebrates radio’s dynamic future
13.02.2024 - Commercial Radio & Audio WorldDAB Member - Australia Australia
Radio’s continued global potency in attracting and keeping mass audiences while maintaining trust and entertaining people is being championed today, UNESCO’s World Radio Day. Established to acknowledge the creation of United Nations Radio on 13 February in 1946, the 2024 theme of “Looking Forward to Radio’s Next Century” shines a light on radio’s remarkable past, current relevance and dynamic future. “Radio is the most innovative and immediate media in Australia, and it has continually grown and evolved to suit the needs of its audience,” said Ford Ennals, Chief Executive Officer of industry body Commercial Radio & Audio (CRA), in reference to World Radio Day. Through profound changes in society, shifts in the economy and a transformation in technology, radio has stood the test of time. And the Australian commercial radio industry continues to thrive.

(Commercial Radio & Audio) Read more


Free & easy access to Australian radio is essential
12.02.2024 - Commercial Radio & Audio WorldDAB Member - Australia Australia
Industry body Commercial Radio & Audio has called for immediate action to ensure free, easy, and reliable access to Australian radio on smart devices like speakers and cars. In a submission to the Senate inquiry on the Prominence and Anti-siphoning Bill, which is aimed at ensuring easy free-to-air television access on smart TVs, CRA said the Bill needs to include radio. “It is essential to both the radio industry and Australian communities that there is always free, easy, and universal access to Australian radio on smart speakers and in cars,” said CRA chief executive officer Ford Ennals. “If Australians cannot easily access local radio during emergencies such as bushfires, storms, floods, or traffic incidents, it can be an issue of community safety,” Mr Ennals said.

(Commercial Radio & Audio) Read more


DAB serves up a mix of favourites to the metros in Australia's Survey 8
20.12.2023 - Australia Australia
Analysing the DAB+ trends in GfK Radio 360 Surveys sometimes feels like having to choose a Christmas present for five friends with totally different tastes. Broadly speaking Sydney love CADA, Melbourne their 80s Gold, Perth likes it smooth, so too Adelaide and Brisbane, who appear to also enjoy a smorgasbord of tastes and styles. In Sydney, CADA, who are going to sound very different in 2024, gained 20,000 listeners and led the DAB pack. Also with more than 100K listeners were TikTok Trending, smooth relax, KIIS 90s, Coles Radio, ABC Sport (the only metro besides Adelaide where sports saw any gain post the AFL / NRL seasons) and, most surprising of all, iHeartAustralia.

(radioinfo) Read more


Australian commercial radio listening at all-time high, "vibrant growth" in DAB+
19.12.2023 - Commercial Radio & Audio WorldDAB Member - Australia Australia
2023 has been a banner year for Australian commercial radio, culminating in record audience numbers, GfK Survey 8 has revealed. Commercial radio listening has soared to a record high of 12.25 million listeners aged 10+ across the five major metro markets, underpinned by a vibrant growth in DAB+ listening and the continued embrace of commercial radio by younger listeners. “Since 2021, listeners of commercial radio DAB+ only stations have grown by a massive 48%. Audiences are loving the great new content being added by the commercial networks, and DAB+ is easier to access than ever,” said Ford Ennals, CEO of Commercial Radio & Audio.

(Commercial Radio & Audio) Read more


100 years of commercial radio in Australia – with the best yet to come!
23.11.2023 - Commercial Radio & Audio WorldDAB Member - Australia Australia
On the 100th birthday of Australian commercial radio, industry body Commercial Radio & Audio (CRA) has paid tribute to all those in the industry, past and present, and the listeners, who together have ensured radio remains a much-loved, enduring part of the everyday Australian experience. Ford Ennals, CRA CEO, has congratulated the Australian radio industry on 100 years of laughs, connection, entertainment, music, news, and community. “100 years ago, listeners had to buy a set that was locked to a single station. A century on and you can listen to radio in your car, on your phone, on your digital radio or through your smart speaker. More than ever, commercial radio is part of the everyday Australian experience,” Mr Ennals said.

(Commercial Radio & Audio (CRA)) Read more


Nova Network DAB+ brand extension audience now over 1m
20.11.2023 - Australia Australia
Nova Entertainment has again claimed the #1 spot nationally for its metro radio Nova network. The broadcaster has calculated it is the most listened to metro network with 4,000,900 listeners in GfK Survey 7, 2023. Nova Network group program director Brendan Taylor told Mediaweek the combined cume audience for the DAB+ brand extensions was now over 1m. “That includes the smoothfm DAB+ stations in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth that are all #1 DAB+ in their markets.” Smooth FM Brisbane is the most listened-to DAB+ station with 98,000 listeners.

(Mediaweek) Read more


CADA and smooth serving their DAB audiences: GfK Survey 7
17.11.2023 - Australia Australia
Cumulative listenership to radio was down across the capital cities, but DAB+ was up with youth station CADA the leader in Sydney and the other states enjoying a mix of 80s, 90s and smooth. This was the second survey for Disrupt Radio and Radio Maria in Sydney and Melbourne. Disrupt, which is based in Melbourne, dropped there but picked up 7000 new listeners in Sydney. Radio Maria, a devotional station also in Victoria, doubled its audience in Sydney and picked up 20K new ones in Melbourne.

(RadioInfo Australia) Read more


Commercial radio in Australia celebrates 100 years with record Survey 7 audiences
17.11.2023 - Commercial Radio & Audio WorldDAB Member - Australia Australia
Almost 100 years on since commercial radio launched in Australia, the number of listeners keeps climbing. “After 100 years of commercial radio in Australia, it is still a much-loved part of our everyday lives – with 12.2 million listeners,” said Ford Ennals, CEO of Commercial Radio & Audio. “This survey has delivered excellent results for the growth of DAB and also shows that all audiences, young and old, love radio.” Survey 7 delivered a record high result for commercial DAB stations, with a 4.4% year on year increase of listeners aged 10+ to 2.9 million. “The digital radio revolution rolls on, with listeners turning into commercial DAB-only stations hitting a record high of almost 3 million listeners, and commercial radio streaming audiences at 3.1 million,” Mr Ennals said. “We are seeing younger audiences discovering commercial DAB-only stations, with the 10-24 demographic growing by 5.5% to a record high of 870,000.”

(Commercial Radio & Audio) Read more


Nige! Nigel Johnson gets his own DAB+ radio station
15.11.2023 - Australia Australia
Mix 106.3’s Nigel Johnson has been given his own DAB+ called Nige!, where he can play what he likes with a promise of no commercials or James Reyne. AmplifyCBR have reassured listeners that this move doesn’t mean he’s leaving the breakfast show he hosts with Kristen Henry, it’s just more Nige, more often.

(radioinfo) Read more


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Key Information

Status: regular
Population: 23.1 million
Population coverage: Sparkline Graph 66%
Services: 391 DAB+
New cars with DAB/DAB+ as standard: Sparkline Graph 78%
Total Sales (cumulative): 6,941,000 devices
Penetration by household: Sparkline Graph 54.6%
Last update: 21.07.2022

Useful Links

ABC Radio
Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU)
Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)
www.digitalradioaustralia.com.au
www.digitalradioplus.com.au/
A technical look at digital radio