with RCS

DAB to reach 50% by 2010

Half the UK population will have access to to DAB digital radio in two and a half years time. That's the news from the Digital Radio Development Bureau, with a 58% penetration expected by 2011.

The DRDB’s new five-year forecast puts household penetration at 21% by the end of 2007, and 30% by the end of 2008, rising to 40% in 2009, 50% in 2010, and 58.5% by the end of 2011.

DAB digital radio set sales are expected to realise 17% growth in 2007, with more than two million units sold at a value of £170 million. Growth rises to 26% in 2008 with 2.6 million units sold at a value of £200 million. This delivers a cumulative forecast of approximately 9.2 million products sold by the end of 2008, with DAB products commanding 28% of the overall market by volume and 35% by value in 2008.

There are indications from many sources — Rajar, Ofcom, BBC, RadioCentre — that the traditional face of radio listening is changing. This is impacting significantly on the overall radio set sales market (analogue and DAB) with certain form factors, such as boomboxes, audio systems and personals, in decline, while others, such as MP3 players and docking stations (with radio included) are on the rise.

Says DRDB chief executive, Ian Dickens: “Already we are starting to see DAB digital radio appear in some of these new form factors, and while it is important to continue to see successful growth in traditional radio products, DAB’s longer-term future lies in the penetration of these new products, along with in-car and mobile phones. Over the coming months, the DRDB will be changing its shape and focus to ensure that radio moves swiftly down this road.”

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