Strong Christmas trade will nudge sales of digital radios way past the 800,000 mark, the number of units sold up to October this year, said the BBC.
Some predictions forecast that sales will climb as high as 1.2m.
The BBC’s predictions come as the corporation’s vision for the future – as submitted to the secretary of state for Culture, Media and Sport – is published as part of the government’s review of digital radio.
Simon Nelson, controller of BBC Radio & Music Interactive, reiterated the BBC’s commitment to DAB and said digital radio promises to be one of the success stories of 2004.
And a BBC spokesman said: “Sales are looking promising and this is good news for the industry. It’s nice to know that all our investment in the digital service has been worthwhile.”
The BBC’s predictions are reinforced by The Digital Radio Development Bureau (DRDB), which estimates that DAB radios will be in around 1.2m UK homes by the end of this year.
Ian Dickens, chief executive of the UK’s Digital Radio Development Bureau, said: “In the UK, retailers are committed to DAB, manufacturers are committed to DAB, broadcasters are committed to DAB and, as a result, the radio market has been rejuvenated as more and more listeners discover the broad array of benefits DAB delivers over old analogue technology.”
To date DAB has been adopted or tested in 40 countries worldwide.
By Lucia Cockroft