DAB radio sales pass 3m landmark

More than 30m adults in the UK are now aware of digital audio broadcast (DAB) radio, claims the Digital Radio Development Bureau (DRDB), which has announced that cumulative sales of DAB sets have reached 3.053m.

The 3m landmark was passed at the end of March, according to figures supplied by industry tracking body GfK, which also found that 14% of all radio sets sold in the UK are now DAB.

Other data released by the DRDB reveals that more than 11% of Britons now live in a DAB household, 20% of DAB owners have already purchased their second or even third set, and over one fifth of the money spent on radios is on DAB products.

Convergence of media platforms is proving popular with consumers as the first DAB/MP3 products enter the market this year. The first DAB-enabled mobile phones will appear this summer, with BT Movio broadcasting digital television and radio services on the Virgin Mobile network.

Meanwhile, the analogue market is down year-on-year in terms of both volume and value as DAB continues to show strong growth.

The DRDB believes that 2m DAB digital radios could be sold in the UK during the 12 months to December 2006, putting cumulative sales at 4.7m by the end of the year. The industry expects a significant uptake of DAB radios during the FIFA World Cup and throughout the summer.

DRDB chief executive Ian Dickens said the radio industry is delighted by the new numbers: "We are starting to see DAB digital radio sales overtake analogue in some categories, particularly the portable/kitchen radio market.

He added: "The average age of DAB set owners is now below the national average, the male/female split is closing, and repeat purchase is on the increase, all of which are key indicators that DAB digital radio is enjoying healthy growth and moving swiftly toward mass market status".

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