ABI Research: Digital Radio Installed Base Will Approach 200 Million by 2015

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Scottsdale, AZ - Aug 12, 2010 - According to research from ABI Research, by the end of 2010, about four million digital radio receivers using HD Radio will have shipped in the US. In Europe (led by Britain) governments have chosen the DAB standard and consumers have purchased nearly 13.5 million radio receivers. By 2015, the worldwide installed base of digital radio receivers, excluding handsets, is expected to reach nearly 200 million units.

"Smartphones are expected to include digital radio receivers starting in mid-2011, driven by carriers' desire to offer users premium audio content while limiting the use of scarce radio spectrum," says ABI Research Senior Analyst Sam Rosen. "This concern is demonstrated by AT&T's decision to stop offering unlimited data plans, due largely to high data usage in New York and San Francisco resulting from Internet radio sites such as Pandora."

Digital radio technologies, including satellite radio and Internet radio, are expected to reverse trends of decreasing listenership. Listeners will have access to niche programming targeted to narrower demographic segments and will respond to a more interactive user experience enabled by program guides and other enhancements. Broadcasters, in turn, will have a larger reach and the ability to provide better targeted and more interactive ads.

"The adoption of DAB radios in Europe has been led primarily by tabletop radio sales in the UK," says Rosen. In addition to the US and the UK, Switzerland, Denmark, and Norway all have significant broadcast infrastructure in place, with Australia, Germany and France to complete the majority of their infrastructure in 2011.

The ABI Research Digital Radio study covers digital radio receivers and subscriptions within the home and on the go (portable media players and automotive), and digital radio receiver shipments into cellphones. It provides a summary of standards adoption by country, and segmented unit shipments and revenue forecasts for the period 2010-2015. It also discusses music licensing and royalties, targeted advertising, efficient spectrum utilization, customer resonance and demand, and government levers.

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