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: 04.03.2021 - older versions

In Australia, 77% of new vehicles sold in 2020 were factory-fitted with DAB+.  PwC projects that close to 4 million new vehicles fitted with DAB+ will be sold by the end of 2021.             

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.

 

 

 

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.

The position of DAB+ in the car has never been stronger: WorldDAB Conference
25.06.2021 - WorldDAB News - Australia Australia
In an opening keynote, VW Group’s Head of Entertainment & Car Functions Martin Koch, affirmed that radio in the car is important not just for listeners and broadcasters, but also to car manufacturers, with their customers’ demand for broadcast radio in the car is as high as ever, and radio still taking the major share of ear in the car.

(Radioinfo.com.au) Read more


Australian radio joins global working group on Android Automotive
24.06.2021 - WorldDAB News - Commercial Radio Australia WorldDAB Member - Australia Australia
The Australian commercial radio industry has joined a global working group of broadcasters, carmakers and tech experts collaborating on the innovation of radio in Android Automotive, Google’s infotainment operating system being built into new connected cars. Speaking at the WorldDAB Automotive 2021 virtual conference Ms Warner said it was important that broadcast technology remains the foundation of delivering radio in the connected car because of its reliability, with internet providing enhanced features such as richer content, images such as album artwork and interactivity.

(Commercial Radio Australia) Read more


Agile Broadcast and Paneda complete Australian national DAB+ rollout
24.06.2021 - Paneda WorldDAB Member - Australia Australia
Paneda and its exclusive partner Agile Broadcast have completed the supply and commissioning of Paneda DAB+ headend software and hardware to Telstra Broadcast Services (TBS), facilitating a highly reliable and redundant DAB+ Broadcast System.

(Paneda) Read more


ABC/SBS change the DAB+ digital radio quality and reducing cost of broadcasting
01.06.2021 - Australia Australia
A single ABC/SBS DAB+ transmitter carries 18 programs. The commercial/ community DAB+ transmitters are carrying up to 32 programs each, makes it the cheapest and least polluting means of moving sound from a microphone to the listeners speaker.

(Radio Info) Read more


ACMA is offering up vacant FM frequencies in WA
26.05.2021 - Australia Australia
As DAB+ continues to grow in Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority is offering vacant FM frequencies in western Australia. According to Commercial Radio Australia, 77% of all new vehicles in Australia already contain DAB+ receivers.

(Radio Info) Read more


95% of Australians listen to radio each week
05.04.2021 - Commercial Radio Australia WorldDAB Member - Australia Australia
Radio’s move to becoming a truly multiplatform business has been key to not only retaining but growing our audiences,” said Joan Warner at #DBS2021, with audiences now able to access radio anywhere, any time on any device. In the last quarter 2020 there was a 15% rise in listeners to DAB+ only stations.

(Radioinfo.com.au) Read more


SCA’s strategic journey opens the ears of Australian listeners
17.03.2021 - Australia Australia
SCA was the first Australian broadcaster to effectively commercialise DAB across mainland capital cities and select regional geographies, creating 10 new and incremental digital radio stations, broadening their reach and scale while competing with their peers in key economic regions.

(Ad News) Read more


ACMA publishes deeming principles for digital radio expansion
16.03.2021 - Australia Australia
Looking toward the expansion of digital radio to regional Australia, the regulator - ACMA - has published principles for licence area deeming, aimed at ensuring the efficient use of the radiofrequency spectrum by maximising the utilisation of digital radio multiplex transmitter capacity, as well as promoting the availability of a diverse range of radio services throughout Australia.

(Radio Info) Read more


Australia - weekly listeners for DAB+ radio stations climb to 2.35 million
02.03.2021 - Commercial Radio Australia WorldDAB Member - Australia Australia
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.

(Commercial Radio Australia) Read more


Australia - 13% rise in audiences for DAB+ only stations in 2020
19.01.2021 - Australia Australia
Commercial DAB+ only stations attracted nearly 1.6 million listeners, an increase of 13% or 180,000 people compared to 2019. More than half of those listened to DAB+ stations at home and 676,000 listened in the car.

(Big News Network) Read more


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Key Information

Status: regular
Population: 23.1 million
Population coverage: Sparkline Graph 64%
Services: 391 DAB+
New cars with DAB/DAB+ as standard: Sparkline Graph 77%
Total Sales (cumulative): 6,471,066 devices
Penetration by household: Sparkline Graph 52%
Last update: 18.06.2021

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