Commercial Radio Australia has announced that commercial DAB+ digital radio is now available in Hobart. It’s only a decade after it first appeared in the mainland capital cities. And that adds a degree of permanency and reliability that was missing during the recent “trial” phase.

DAB+ is the digital radio standard that first commenced back in 2009 in the five mainland capital cities. Regional areas and Darwin, Canberra and Hobart were excluded at the start. But in recent years there has been a roll-out of trial services. AM and FM are both analogue services. Generally, one or two of the old VHF TV station channels are used for DAB+ digital radio.

DAB+ Digital Radio
Map showing DAB+ availability in Australia, from Commercial Radio Australia.

Digital radio tends to offer higher quality and stereo sound. Also, multiple stations can be carried over the same frequencies. They can also carry text and graphics information which can be displayed by some DAB+ radios. And they lend themselves to “pausing” and digital recording, although few devices support those functions.

Commercial Radio Australia says that 4.21 million people listened to DAB+ radio at least weekly in the mainland capitals during 2018. That’s
some 30% of Australians aged at least 10. It adds that there are now 4.73 million DAB+ radios in Australia, and that 65% of new cars sold here have a DAB+ radio factory-fitted.

New DAB+ digital radio stations

The commercial DAB+ digital radio stations arriving in Hobart are:

  • Hit100.9
  • Triple M Hobart
  • 7HO
  • Easy Hits – “Continuous Feel Good Favourites”
  • Triple M Classic Rock – “Classic rock that has stood the test of time”
  • KIX Country Music – “Hottest country music across Australia”

Commercial Radio Australia is the organisation that, as its name suggests, represents the commercial radio industry in lobbying and PR. I’ve been talking to it on and off for a few years, and it’s clearly the most knowledgeable body about what’s happening in the digital radio space.

Do you get digital radio in your area? Commercial Radio Australia has a convenient look-up page showing latest coverage. Go here. Apparently Canberra, that other neglected capital, remains in a trial period.