Issue 24: Marketing Digital Radio – Securing the Future of DAB+

Once DAB broadcasting has been introduced into a country and network coverage is expanded, how are relationships with manufacturers, radio listeners and retailers developed? Digital Radio professionals from Australia, Italy and Switzerland share their marketing strategies and plans for the future.


Joan Warner, Commercial Radio Australia


Current situation

In Australia, more than 60% of Australians have access to DAB+, but there are still 100 licence areas in regional Australia to be covered.  All of the radio industry public, commercial and community broadcasters have asked the Federal Government to establish a joint Digital Radio Industry Planning Committee to plan the timetable for a phased regional rollout.  Support from the government and one voice for an all of industry approach (public, private and community) to policy and marketing is essential to the success of digital radio.

This year largest growth areas are in listening and the number of manufacturers including DAB+ in vehicles.  Three million people are now listening each week to DAB+ or 23% of people in the five state capitals where DAB+ is available and 20 Australian vehicle manufacturers now include DAB+ as standard or an option.

Marketing the benefits of DAB+

Commercial Radio Australia’s digital radio marketing campaigns are conducted on both a regional and national level as the maturity of the markets are different.  Campaigns around Christmas, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day drive our digital radio marketing campaigns.  We work with retailers and manufacturers to create a seasonal offer that can be incorporated into our advertising campaign.   Christmas-campaign-australiaThis Christmas, we have partnered with Sony and mention four leading retailers who are supporting the campaign which offers a free portable Bluetooth speaker with the purchase of any selected Sony DAB+ radio from selected retailers.

Of the marketing platforms available to us, radio is the most cost effective and efficient medium for advertising the benefits of digital radio. We include three different ads in each of our DAB+ radio campaigns that target different demographics and radio listeners.  This year’s Christmas campaign features one focused on music lovers, another, sport & news and more general unlimited entertainment.   We have also used online, social media, taxi backs, bus sides and outdoor billboards at airports to raise awareness of the features and benefits of digital radio.

Ongoing communication and support is provided by Commercial Radio Australia to all key DAB+ stakeholders.  We partner with manufacturers and give our on air ambassadors the latest screen based digital radios to ensure they see the innovative use of slide show and scrolling text by broadcasters.  We have just launched a new quarterly DAB+ e-newsletter to provide the most up to date DAB+ statistics.

Driving digital radio in the car

The automotive industry is important to a successful adoption of DAB+.  There are now 20 Australian vehicle manufacturers including DAB+ as either an option or standard.  We continue to work with the automotive industry in promoting the benefits of digital radio in the car.

Commercial Radio Australia provides technical testing, advice and feedback for receiver and automotive manufacturers.  In addition, the industry conducted a series of workshops and one on one meetings with key stakeholder groups to ensure they had the latest information about DAB+.   CRA has developed a Best Practice User Interface Guidelines and circulated them to key automotive management for feedback prior to sharing them with WorldDMB and its members.

Looking ahead

The priority for DAB+ in 2015 in Australia is to establish the joint Digital Radio Industry Planning Committee with the Federal Government to plan the timetable for a phased regional rollout of DAB+ to regional Australia.  It will obviously extend our coverage and ensure all Australians can experience the benefits of digital radio.

In addition, a priority is to get a DAB+ broadcast chip into mobile handsets.



WorldDMB Digital Switch Over - ItalyItaly
Fabrizio Savorani, Marketing ConsultantClub DAB Italia

Current situation

As a digital radio country which is relatively in it’s infancy compared to existing mature markets, we have so far seen positive figures from receiver sales and currently DAB+ network coverage in Italy is at 65% (outdoor coverage). Building out the network continues to be a top priority along with increasing the sale.  As the network continues to grow, marketing campaigns will grow little by little and also regionally.

Marketing the benefits of DAB+

Private and commercial broadcasters working together to promote digital radio listening is a key factor for a successful marketing campaign.  In communicating the benefits of digital radio to the consumer, we have advertised on mainly private national networks.  pagina_sole24[1]Our advertising promotes the benefits of the “Perfect Quality Sound” of digital radio. To support intermediaries including retailers, manufacturers and media,  we provide free use of marketing collateral such as logos and advertising for print and online.

From 2015, we will be monitoring listening figures to measure effectiveness of the digital radio roll out.  While we cannot currently measure the impact of our campaigns on listener growth, we do experience an increase of visits and activity on our website during the periods that the radio campaigns are live.

Watch the 2014 Digital Radio Italy video campaign

Watch the 2014 Digital Radio Italy video campaign

Priorities for the year ahead 

A priority for the new year is to increase the choice of DAB+ receivers in the car.  Working with automotive manufacturers is crucial to the development of digital radio.  Our campaigns promote the unique experience of free to air digital radio in the car by generate demand for new cars with digital radio as standard. As a result of our many radio advertising campaigns, digital radio in the car is a priority for car industry managers.



Béatrice Merlach, CEO, MCDT

At present, the DAB+ coverage in Switzerland stands at 99% and the share of listeners and sales continue to grow steadily.  We are very pleased with the current situation of DAB+ in Switzerland and we are keen for the process of digital migration to move quickly. On 1 December 2014 the digital migration working group published a report on switchover from FM to DAB+ and submitted their vision to Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard, Head of DETEC. (View report). According to the timetable, the final FM switch of will take place at the end of 2024.  For effective adoption of digital radio, it is important to have the support of the government as well as both the public and commercial broadcasters and the B2B partners. Without them, DAB+ would not have the chance of evolving.

As Switzerland is a small country, all campaigns are conducted at a national level but in three languages and a regional approach. Our marketing strategies cross all available platforms and media. Seasonal campaigns are important to us, especially in the Spring and Christmas where we always work with all market partners. For example, we have worked with receiver manufacturers to produce special branded radios for World Championship in Brazil and Valentines promotions.  Recently, a collaborative campaign with motion graphic artist Cee-Roo used social media and video to create an interactive campaign to position digital radio as a cool way to listen to radio to a younger market.



Watch the 2014 social media campaign video

It is important that we support retailers and intermediaries on a one-to-one basis to offer tailored marketing solutions. This year, there was a strong focus on the automotive industry and support was provided through workshops and training to equip the automotive industry with the knowledge to further assist the driver in receiving digital radio in their vehicles.

Going forward, our priorities for 2015 are increasing the adoption of DAB+ through the increase of receiver sales, and listening hours, and working with the automotive industry to increase the choice of DAB+ receivers in the car.   More choice of content more stations for the listeners are crucial to DAB+ adoption.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

About WorldDAB

WorldDAB is the global forum for digital radio, facilitating the adoption and implementation of digital broadcast radio based on DAB, DAB+. Its membership includes public and commercial broadcasters, network providers, receiver, chip and car manufacturers.

To contribute to Eureka!, email


Follow WorldDAB on Twitter