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DAB+ radio will launch in Gold Coast, south of Brisbane, Australia, on April 4, bringing nine new commercial radio stations to Australia’s sixth-largest city, according to industry body Commercial Radio Australia.
The launch will make Gold Coast the 10th city in Australia to have DAB+. Broadcasters ARN and SCA will launch the new DAB+ stations, while existing stations Sea FM, Triple M and Hot Tomato will be simulcast on DAB+ and continue on FM.
DAB+ technology is already widespread in Australian metros, with 4.47 million cars on the road with DAB+ radios. Last year, 78% of all new vehicles sold in Australia had factory-fitted DAB+ receivers.
“The rollout of digital broadcasting technology allows the radio industry to bring more stations, new music formats, enhanced sound quality and more innovation, including pop-up stations, to Gold Coast listeners,” said Joan Warner, chief executive officer of CRA.
“This significant investment in improving commercial radio services recognizes that Australians use a variety of technologies and devices to listen to radio. As people move between the car to the home and to mobile devices, we want them to have a reliable, high-quality listening experience across all platforms.”
SCA CEO, Grant Blackley, said: “As a successful early adopter of the digital radio spectrum, we are delighted that Gold Coast listeners will now be able to access new DAB+ stations from the Hit and Triple M family. DAB+ offers SCA the ability to increase our audience in southeast Queensland. We will be announcing our DAB+ Gold Coast station lineup shortly.”
ARN Regional, COO Michael Harvey, said: “As leaders in local content, we’re excited to be able to elevate the current FM listening experience onto the DAB+ spectrum, but beyond that, given that the Gold Coast is Australia’s sixth-largest city with one of the fastest-growing economies in the country, it presents a significant opportunity for national advertisers to connect with an audience at scale.”
Nearly five million people tuned in each week to all DAB+ stations (including simulcasts) across the five major Australian metro capitals and Canberra in 2021 — an increase of 8.5% compared to 2020.