Canberra Tuning in to DAB+ Digital Radio

Two new commercial digital radio stations, Elf Radio and Coles Radio, have launched in Canberra as new figures show DAB+ digital radio has gained a strong audience in the national capital, with one in four people listening to DAB+ each week.

The new stations have hit the airwaves ahead of trial services being switched to permanent services next year as the commercial radio industry rolls out digital radio to major regional areas.

“Canberra listeners have been enthusiastic adopters of digital radio and we expect more people to make the switch next year as more new stations launch and the industry and retailers start to promote the benefits of upgrading to digital radio,” said Joan Warner, Chief Executive Officer of industry body, Commercial Radio Australia.

Canberra listeners have had access to trial DAB+ digital radio services since 2010 and GfK data shows listening has steadily increased to 27 percent of the population, or 105,000 people each week. The reach of digital radio in Canberra is just behind the average metropolitan penetration of 28 percent in the five capitals of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

There are now 10 commercial radio services broadcasting in digital in Canberra, including six digital-only stations. The latest is festive pop-up station Elf Radio, playing back to back Christmas songs from a range of artists including Michael Buble, Kylie Minogue, Paul Kelly, Sia, Guy Sebastian and more now on air in time for Christmas.

Also now available is Coles Radio, a contemporary music station, featuring past favourites, themed days such as 90’s at 9 and Throwback Thursdays. The Coles Radio playlist is handpicked every day and is one of the top-rating commercial digital radio stations in Australia.

Listeners need to upgrade their AM/FM radios to a DAB+ radio to access the new services, with digital radio receivers available from $29.

In the five state capitals 3.8 million Australians listen to DAB+ digital radio each week. There have been 1.14 million vehicles sold with DAB+, and 41 automotive brands support DAB+.

Digital radio trials in Canberra and Darwin have been a successful collaboration between commercial and public broadcasters and government agencies.  Commercial Radio Australia has been the trial licensee for Canberra and Darwin and applied for the licence renewal on behalf of the ABC, SBS and all commercial broadcasters when the trials began in 2010. ABC and SBS now move to a permanent multiplex and listeners will need to rescan their DAB+ radios on the 8th of January to pick up the new services.

Commercial radio stations will transition from trials to permanent digital radio services in Canberra and Darwin next year, with timing subject to regulatory processes.

Canberra commercial radio stations 2CA, 2CC, Mix 106.3 and 104.7 currently broadcast in digital, along with the digital-only stations My Canberra, KIX Country, Buddha Hits, The Edge, Coles Radio and Elf Radio, all adding to the choice of services available to local audiences.

In Darwin, Hot 100 and Mix 104.9 and digital-only services KIX Country, Classic Rock Digital and Radio TAB are on offer on DAB+.