If video killed the radio star, then digital radio is certainly the answer to its revival.

Recent figures released by Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) reveals that an average of 700,000 people living across the five state metropolitan capitals of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide listen to digital radio every week. This brings an increase in audience listening rate from 3.7% in 2009/2010 to 5.6% in 2010/ 2011.

Digital sales in the radio industry have also gone up by 185% compared to 2009.

Research by The Nielsen Company shows that Australians spend an average of 11 hours and 11 minutes tuning in to digital radio, and time spent listening to digital radio has doubled that of internet radio listening time.

Joan Warner, chief executive officer of CRA says: “The commercial radio industry has spent more than $25 million dollars on an ongoing and extensive digital radio marketing strategy and campaign and continues to work collaboratively with digital radio retailers and manufacturers to build the awareness with listeners.”

CRA’s priorities this year will be focused on building digital radio’s audience and to roll out digital radio to the rest of Australia. “ [We will] work on specific promotions with retailers; work with car manufacturers to get DAB+ radios into cars; and work with the Government to plan the regional rollout,” says Warner.

New digital-only services will continue to launch while prices of digital radios will continue to fall to encourage audience pick-up.

More information on the Digital Radio Industry Report 2011 can be found at www.digitalradioplus.com.au