Tuesday, 18 January 2011

DAB radio receiver sales in 2010: what was the actual number?

On 21 December 2010, a press release from Digital Radio UK announced that “12 million digital radios have been sold in total in the UK” and estimated that:
· “due to strong Christmas sales, over 2m digital radios will be sold during 2010
· A cumulative total of 20 million digital radios will be sold by the end of 2013.”

It takes a brave person to predict in mid-December what a year-end sales figure will be. More so with DAB radio receivers because, in previous years, the month of December alone has accounted for more than a quarter of annual sales.

It takes an even braver person to predict that, by year-end 2013, an additional 8m digital radios will have been sold. Whether or not 2m units were actually sold in 2010, we do know that just under 2m units had been sold in 2009, and just over 2m units in 2008 and in 2007. So please can Digital Radio UK explain what revolutionary change will ensure that sales suddenly spurt during 2011, 2012 and 2013? Buy one, get one free?

Perhaps this new ‘20m by 2013’ figure was forecast by the same party that produced earlier forecasts for the Digital Radio Development Bureau, the forerunner to Digital Radio UK. As the graph above demonstrates, none of those forecasts made in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 were rooted in an analysis of reality. If they were, then 24.5m digital radios would have been sold by now. Whereas, the actual figure is 12m, less than half the forecast for 2010 the industry had made four years ago.

It is interesting to note that all the recent sales figures offered by DAB lobbyists refer to ‘digital radios’ rather than ‘DAB radios.’ One wonders exactly how many internet radio receivers have been sold in the UK and are being used to prop up the illusion that DAB radio is some kind of success story with consumers. When I have asked for a breakout of internet radio sales, data were not supplied.

If, as the Digital Radio UK press release shouts, a “digital radio landmark” was really achieved in December 2010, then why are the recorded UK monthly and quarterly sales figures for DAB radios not available from the Digital Radio UK
web site for the public to admire? (Maybe because the Digital Radio UK web site is completely empty.)

The chief executive of Digital Radio UK was quoted last week
saying: "There is now real momentum in the transition to digital radio.”

“Real momentum” is not what the sales data for DAB receivers, even those few estimated figures released by Digital Radio UK, demonstrate to be the reality.

1 comment:

HDRadioFarce said...

“'Real momentum' is not what the sales data for DAB receivers, even those few estimated figures released by Digital Radio UK, demonstrate to be the reality."

I can't tell you how many times we've heard that phrase in the US: