Retailers and the commercial radio industry recently agreed on a start date of early April for a three-phase digital radio advertising campaign on all commercial radio stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

Speaking following a meeting between the commercial radio industry and retailers and manufacturers of digital radios held yesterday in Sydney, Joan Warner, CEO, Commercial Radio Australia (CRA), said the commercial radio industry and retailers were on track with the on-air campaign, commencing in April, to promote the switch on of digital radio services to listeners.

Ms Warner said commercial radio digital services would be rolled out progressively throughout May and in the first few weeks, as required by the regulator, would be in interference test mode while any interference issues are dealt with.

“With nearly 80% of Australians listening to commercial radio each week, it is important that we let our listeners know about digital radio, that digital radio is coming, and provide good on-air support to the retailers who will be stocking receivers,” she said.

Ms Warner said the co-operation between receiver manufacturers, retailers and the radio industry was pivotal to a successful introduction of digital radio in Australia.

 “Retailers are excited about the interest digital radio will generate in the audio retail market during what is one of the toughest retail environments in many years.”

Chairman of CRA and CEO, Austereo, Michael Anderson attended the meeting and talked about the compelling opportunities that digital radio will provide for niche and targeted programming.

“The industry is excited about the opportunities digital radio offers and is gearing up for an unprecedented marketing and promotional campaign highlighting the benefits of digital radio for listeners,” said Mr Anderson.

Ms Warner said that a major and historic listener event will now be held in August, once ABC and SBS services join commercial radio services on air in all cities. This event will be held simultaneously across all five state capital launch cities.

Members of the Advisory Group include retailers Harvey Norman, Dick Smith Electronics, Clive Peeters, The Good Guys, NARTA, Big W, Domayne, David Jones, Myers and receiver manufacturers JVC, Philips, Pioneer, Samsung, Pure, Bush, Teac, Sanyo, Roberts, iRiver, Yamaha and Sangean.