Australia

Last update: 22.01.2021 - 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, including 2.56 million home and portable receivers and 2.17 million in new cars.

PwC projects that close to 4 million new vehicles fitted with DAB+ will be sold by the end of 2021, up from 862,426 at the end of 2016. 

In 2020, 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.

Further information: 

 

 

Last update: 08.10.2020 - older versions

Population coverage in Australia stands at 64% (Q1 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: 16.04.2020 - older versions

In this country there are

on air.

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: 08.10.2020 - older versions

In Australia, 75% of new vehicles sold are factory-fitted with DAB+ (Q1 2020).                               

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: 14.04.2020 - older versions

The latest figures from Commercial Radio Australia show that DAB+ listening and sales of digital receivers are currently exceeding expectations. In 2018, more than 4.2 million Australians listened to radio via a DAB+ digital radio each week, up from 3.6 million in 2017.

In 2018, 930,000 DAB+ receivers were sold in Australia (including automotive).

More than 4.73 million DAB+ radios have been sold in Australia since digital radio launched in the five major capital cities in 2009, including 2.56 million home and portable receivers and 2.17 million in new cars.

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.

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


SCA launches new Christmas radio on DAB+
02.12.2020 - Australia Australia
Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) will launch Santa Radio on DAB+ next week in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

(Radio Today) Read more


Elf Radio ranks first as Australia's DAB+ station of the year
01.12.2020 - Australia Australia
Elf Radio, which broadcasts on DAB+ in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, was crowned DAB+ station of the year.

(Radio Today) Read more


Sports Entertainment Network launches new radio brand with DAB+
10.11.2020 - Australia Australia
Sports Entertainment Network (SEN) has announced plans to launch a new DAB+ all sports station in Mandurah, to be known as SEN Peel, on the back of another month of digital growth in Western Australia.

(Media Week) Read more


SCA says DAB+ stations have helped it weather ratings turbulence
23.10.2020 - Australia Australia
Southern Cross Austereo’s (SCA) Hit and Triple M-branded DAB+ stations have helped the audio company continue to charge advertisers premium rates despite ratings fluctuations on its FM stations. According to Adam Williscroft, content director for Hit and Triple M Digital Radio, DAB+ stations “were designed to be brand-safe options, but to also complement the parent FM brand."

(Radio Today) Read more


WorldDAB and ABU hold virtual webinar series
09.10.2020 - Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) WorldDAB Member - Australia Australia
WorldDAB and the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) are presenting a free DAB+ technical webinar series on digital radio technology-implementation and rollout from 20-23 October.

(Radio Info) Read more


75% of new cars are now sold with DAB+ radios in Australia
06.10.2020 - Australia Australia
By the end of June 2020, over 93 million consumer and automotive DAB/DAB+ receivers had been sold in Europe and Asia Pacific. That number is up from 82 million a year earlier, according to new data from WorldDAB. The report covers Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and the UK.

(Radio Today) Read more


DAB+ listening spikes in Melbourne during lockdown
29.09.2020 - Australia Australia
According to the latest listening figures from Australia, DAB+ radio welcomed an additional +280,000 listeners in Melbourne for the survey period, between 16 July and 19 September 2020.

(Radio Today) Read more


Three months for EU Member States to implement EECC on DAB
21.09.2020 - Australia Australia
The European Electronic Communications Code (EECC), which entered into force on 20 December 2018, must be transposed into national legislation by EU Member States by 21 December 2020.

Read more


Three months for EU Member States to implement EECC
21.09.2020 - Australia Australia
The European Electronic Communications Code (EECC), which entered into force on 20 December 2018, must be transposed into national legislation by EU Member States by 21 December 2020.

(Radio Info) 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 75%
Total Sales (cumulative): 6,033,000 devices
Penetration by household: Sparkline Graph 51%
Last update: 08.10.2020

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