DAB digital radio sales reach 75 million worldwide

Over 75 million domestic and automotive DAB digital radios had been sold in Europe and Asia Pacific by the end of 2018, up from 65 million in Q4 2017, according to the latest international market report published by WorldDAB, the organisation responsible for furthering the international take up of DAB and DAB+.

Available to download as an infographic here, the new data draws on multiple sources to give a comprehensive overview of the latest statistics on DAB receiver sales, road and population coverage, household penetration, and the number of national stations on DAB/DAB+. The report covers Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, and the UK.

In the UK, digital listening has reached a new record share of 56.4%, with over two thirds (71.6%) of all digital listening attributed to DAB, and the Government has recently announced the launch of a review to ensure a healthy and vibrant digital future for UK radio, expected to be concluded in 2020.

DAB/DAB+ is now established as the primary future radio broadcast platform for radio in Europe – a position underlined by a number of recent regulatory interventions. 

On a pan-European level, the EECC directive adopted by the EU in December 2018 requires all new car radios in the EU to be capable of receiving digital terrestrial radio by the end of 2020. Italy has already put legislation in place to ensure that it complies with the directive by the start of 2020, while France – whose aggressive rollout of DAB continues to sweep across the country – has also triggered a receiver law requiring all new car radios released from June 2020 to include DAB+ digital radio capabilities.

Key findings from the WorldDAB report include:

• In the UK, 67% of households have at least one DAB radio
• Over 11 million receivers have been sold in Germany
• In Switzerland, 64% of all radio listening is via digital platforms
• In Italy, 46% of new cars are now sold with DAB+, up from 32% in 2017
• 6 million receivers have been sold in Norway
• In Australia, 69% of new cars are now sold with DAB+, up from 47% in 2017

DAB is also seeing significant activity across Asia, Middle East, and Africa, and the infographic details the rollout status in 21 emerging markets including information on trials and population coverage.

Following the launch of the findings, WorldDAB president, Patrick Hannon, commented:

“The last 12 months have been an exceptional period for DAB radio. The EU has adopted a directive requiring all new car radios to be capable of receiving digital terrestrial broadcasts; new markets such as France, Belgium and Austria are launching national DAB+ services and established markets including Germany, the UK, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy and Australia are reporting record levels of digital listening. In 2018, 10 million DAB receivers were sold worldwide. We expect this figure to be easily surpassed in the years ahead.”