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Australian Radio Remains Strong; DAB+ Expansion in the Works

The Australian Communications and Media Authority is examining proposals for expanding digital radio services

SYDNEY � Pandora, Spotify and Apple Music have failed to make a dent in Australian radio�s dominance of the audio landscape, according to the first major comprehensive study of Australians� audio consumption.

The Australian Share of Audio study, conducted by multinational research company GfK, found that Australians spend an average of 3 hours and 23 minutes each day consuming audio�including radio, internet-only services, podcasts and online music videos, according toCommercial Radio Australia.Of the time spent with audio, Australians spend 2 hours and 12 minutes listening to live Australian radio, equivalent to a 64.9% share of listening. Listening to their own music collections accounted for 13%, while the combined streaming services Pandora, Spotify and Apple Music accounted for 9.2%. Online music videos such as YouTube accounted for another 3.7% of share of listening, and podcasts 3.5%.� Just 2.1% of listening is to TV music channels and 2.6% to �other audio� including audio books and music playing at various locations such as in the gym or in pubs.

The study was conducted with a nationally representative sample of more than 1,000 Australians aged 10+ in the five major capital cities, either by paper or online diary for seven days during August 2016. It also revealed that Australian radio (AM, FM and DAB+) has five times the daily reach of the combined streaming services (69.7% compared to 12.4%). Australian radio has nine times the daily reach of Spotify and almost 25 times the reach of Pandora.

�The study found 10-17 year olds and 18-24 year olds spend three times longer listening to live Australian radio than Spotify and eight times longer than Apple Music and Pandora each day,� said CRA chief executive officer Joan Warner.

There�s further news for DAB+ radio services in Australia as well. The Australian Communications and Media Authority is examining proposals for expanding digital radio services in Australia. Right now, digital radio is mainly limited to State capitals, with experimental services in Darwin and Canberra.

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield told a Commercial Radio Australia Conference in Melbourne that a recently established digital radio planning committee had posted ACMA with its latest recommendations for the rollout of digital radio to regional areas across the Australian continent.�

Fifield also noted that digital radio devices are increasing in popularity and the number of cars equipped with digital radios has tripled since 2015, according�