Company News • 04.11.2011
Germany: Introduction of DAB+ increases sales of portable audio devices with DAB+ capability
The launch of the new DAB+ (Digital Audio Broadcasting) standard in Germany in August 2011 was eagerly expected. Within the Consumer Electronics industry, private broadcasters and leading manufacturers are working to ensure the technology reaches similar standards to modern digital TV. The DAB+ introduction was a featured topic at the 2011 IFA event in Berlin.
The introduction of new digital radio products is set to significantly impact on sales of portable audio devices (e.g. portable radios, clock radios, radio recorders and other product categories) in Germany.
GfK retail sales data has shown that there was a considerable increase in the amount of portable radios sold in Germany between August and September 2011. In August, almost 8% of all portable radios sold were DAB+ devices. In September, more than 4,700 DAB-capable units were sold, an increase of 3,600 units compared to June 2011. The share of DAB+ is lower for most other segments as consumers are still familiarizing themselves with the technology.
DAB+ technology is particularly interesting for manufacturers as DAB equipment has a much higher sales value than simple FM receivers - 8% of the units sold account for 17% of the value in the category Portable Radio in Germany.
Internet radio rivals digital radio
At the moment, the biggest competitor for digital radio is Internet radio, which has equally demonstrated strong development in recent years. As the end of 2011 approaches, retailers and manufacturers will be keeping a close eye on how well portable audio devices perform in the run up to Christmas, one of the year’s busiest shopping periods.
MP3 player segment continued to decline in Western Europe
In Western Europe, the MP3 player segment continued to decline when compared to last year, as more and more smartphones are starting to incorporate similar features. The panel market over 15 western European countries has decreased in the last 12 months by 4 million sold units (18%) and the value figure decreased by 17%. The retail sales growth of the MP3 player segment without video capabilities was not enough to reverse this negative trend.
However, positive news from the portable media player market currently comes from countries of the former Soviet Union (Ukraine, the Baltics and Kazakhstan). In comparison with last year, there was a rise in both units and value, with the Russian market remaining stable.