A Dick Smith survey has found that 77 per cent of consumer electronic shoppers are likely to upgrade to digital radio.
According to the survey, over half the respondents (54 per cent) stated they listen to radio in their car. Should digital radio become available for car radios, 48 per cent said they would be willing to upgrade their car radio to digital within the next one to two years.
Awareness of the Federal Government’s plan to roll out digital radio across all Australian metropolitan cities has increased sharply in the past two months. In April 2009, only 38 per cent of consumer electronic shoppers were aware of digital radio, compared with 69 per cent today.
According to the results, the average time spent listening to radio is between one and two hours per day. Most respondents surveyed (64 per cent) stated music as the reason for listening to radio, followed by news and talk back programs.
Radio is consumed in many different places, with the car being the most popular place to listen to radio (54 per cent) followed by at home (29 per cent), at work (11 per cent) and on a computer over the Internet (four per cent).
“The switch to digital is the most significant change in radio since the introduction of FM,” said Matt Hayler, audio buyer for Dick Smith.
“From what we’re seeing, awareness is high and as radio stations begin to trial digital channels and talk more about digital radio we expect to get more questions in-store.
 “As retailers, it will be important for us to be aware of the changes in technology in order to provide customers the advice they need to make educated purchasing decisions,” said Hayler.
While consumer are willing to upgrade to digital radio, cost may be a barrier to making the switch. Sixty-seven per cent said they would be willing to spend under $150 on a digital radio. However, entry level receivers start from around $150 and receivers with all capabilities start from around $299. 
Conducted online, the Digital Radio survey drew over 7750 responses from consumer electronic shoppers across all Australian states and territories. It focused on consumer awareness of digital radio; whether consumers were willing to make the switch to digital radio; and basic behaviour of radio listening.
Digital Radio is now available in metropolitan areas in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.