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Last Updated: Friday, 2 September 2005, 12:09 GMT 13:09 UK
Digital radio use 'set to soar'
Digital radio
Digital radio offers more station choice
The number of UK households with digital radio will rise 15 times over the next five years, a forecast by a broadcasters group claims.

The Digital Radio Development Bureau (DRDB) says more than 40% of homes will have digital radios by 2009.

It says the number of homes with digital radio will rise from 1.2 million to around 20 million.

The DRDB is funded by commercial broadcasters and the BBC to promote the adoption of digital radio in the UK.

In last year's five-year forecast, the DRDB claimed 13 million digital sets would have been sold by 2008.

In its latest forecast, the DRDB claims the annual digital radio market will be worth 456 million in 2009, compared with 87 million last year.

During the same period, the number of cars fitted with digital radios each year is predicted to grow from 15,000 units to 702,000 in 2009.

Uptake

DRDB Chairman Ralph Bernard said the latest forecast showed a "healthy climb" towards "mass market penetration".

"It is encouraging news that consumers are continuing to buy new receivers to enjoy the new digital stations on offer," he said.

Figures released by Ofcom in July showed 8% of commercial radio audiences now listen to digital only stations across DAB, digital TV and the internet.

Digital audiences were shown to tune in for 28 hours per week, four hours longer than the average listener.

Ofcom also reported that take up of digital TV had risen to more than 250,000 households each month, mainly driven by sales of Freeview.


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