Digital radio network coverage has continued to expand throughout Europe over the past year, according to a new report launched at IBC by WorldDMB, a global industry forum for digital radio promoting DAB, DAB+ and DMB.
Many countries are already experiencing almost complete penetration of digital radio; it is now at 99% in Switzerland, 98% in Denmark, 95% in Netherlands, 94% in the UK and 91% in Germany. Although in pre-launch phase, Italy has already reached 65% population coverage.
In mature digital radio markets, household penetration is close to half of the population, with the UK at 46%, Norway at 43%, Switzerland at 39%, and Denmark at 37%, the study showed. These figures are expected to jump as the ongoing planning towards a digital switchover progresses in these and other key markets, said WorldDMB.
In the second quarter of 2014, 47% of listeners in Norway were using a digital device, up from 40% in the fourth quarter 2013, and the market appears to be on track to achieve the switchover target of 50% by the end of 2014. The Norwegian Media Authority has announced this month that all other switchover criteria have been met. In the UK, digital radio reach was at 52.1% at the fourth quarter of 2013.
Sales of DAB/DAB+ receivers continue to grow, the study showed, with worldwide cumulative sales of consumer and automotive radios now exceeding 26.5 million. Growth in several markets has been very strong. In 2013, sales in Germany were up 50% year on year and in Switzerland they were up 35%. In Norway, as the market gears up for DSO, growth has been even more spectacular at 139%.
WorldDMB’s study also showed that coverage is pushing the take up of digital radio in cars. Approximately 30,000km of highways in mainland Europe and the Nordic region are covered by a digital radio signal, with 63% of new vehicles in Norway, 55% in the UK and 29% in Switzerland line-fitted with DAB digital radio.
Additionally, WorldDMB stated there is a clear roadmap for growth of DAB/DAB+ digital radio in all European markets, as well as in the Asia Pacific, South Africa and other territories. WorldDMB is hosting an industry insight session at the RAI in the Emerald Room on Monday 15 September.