The government minister responsible for radio has told the Radio Festival in Salford that the number of new cars with DAB as standard has now reached almost 60 percent.
Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy announced that in September 2014, 58% of all new cars registered – almost 250,000 – came with digital radio. That’s an increase of nearly half compared with the same time last year.
Four years ago, the proportion of new cars with digital radio was 0% according to industry body Digital Radio UK.
Other digital radio stats being announced at the Radio Festival today include:
- Over 1.25 million new cars with digital radio sold in the last year, according to CAP/SMMT.
During 2014 the sales volume of in-car DAB radios has now overtaken domestic digital radios for the first time.
Overall DAB digital radio sales (car and domestic sets combined) are now up 18% in the year to date (GfK and CAP/SMMT)
Ed Vaizey, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, said: “A quarter of a million new cars hit the roads in September fitted with a digital radio. This demonstrates the welcome commitment of the car industry to providing drivers with the full range of radio available today.”
Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, said: “There has been a real transformation of radio in car and we have gone from 0% to 60% in just 4 years. This is great news for drivers as digital radio offers a much wider choice of great radio stations.”
During his Festival session later, Mr Ennals will say that the top ten vehicle brands are introducing connected cars with internet access into the UK. He’ll also reveal that Digital Radio UK’s Digital Dashboard Audit has highlighted the ‘continuing importance and prominence of broadcast radio (DAB + FM) in connected cars’. But he warns that the expanded availability of entertainment options in cars could “create potential for driver confusion and distraction.” He will say that DRUK is working with the Society of Motor Manufacturers, individual vehicle manufacturers and the government to address the issues.
Mike Hawes, CEO of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, says: “We are delighted to see the ongoing growth of new car registrations in September and the continuing drive to digital. The great progress being made by manufacturers in the line-fitment of digital radio – and the introduction of new products in the aftermarket – demonstrates the importance the automotive sector attaches to this technology.”
Helen Boaden, Director of Radio at the BBC, says: “We are delighted that now even more car drivers will be able to listen to our digital-only stations while they’re on the move.”