The UK government yesterday released its ‘Digital Britain’ report and once again confirmed its policy commitment to making DAB digital radio the primary means of migrating from analogue to digital radio.
The Digital Britain report follows the Digital Radio Working Group’s own report published in December 2008 which recommended steps towards analogue radio switch off as soon as 2017. The UK government report endorses these steps for migration to digital radio and sets out its strategy for DAB to become the primary radio platform in the UK.
WorldDMB President, Mr Quentin Howard, said “The Digital Britain report is a ringing endorsement for DAB digital radio, further assuring consumers and the radio industry that the platform is not only highly successful but here to stay. Sales of DAB receivers continue to be strong in established markets with many new countries adopting DAB standards, such as Australia and China. Meanwhile France and Germany are rolling out the DAB family in 2009 and 2010, confirming the platform as Europe’s preferred digital radio standard.”
In his statement yesterday Lord Carter, Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting said “The innovation, creativity and vitality of our communications industries rightly demand clarity from Government on its role and a framework for the future.”
The report sets out a number of UK Government decisions which include:
- a clear statement of policy commitment to DAB
- a plan for digital migration of radio and the necessary criteria to achieve this
- the creation of a new Digital Radio Delivery Group to increase the attractiveness, availability and affordability of DAB receivers and to advise on the Digital Migration Plan
- the intention to expand the BBC’s DAB network to match current FM analogue coverage
Meanwhile the Digital Radio Development Bureau announced that sales of digital radios up to the end of 2008 had reached 8.53 million in the UK and the latest official RAJAR audience figures show radio listening via DAB digital radio accounts for 11.4% of all radio UK listening, with DAB ownership increasing to 35%.
PURE, one of the leading manufacturers of DAB digital radio products, announced record export growth in 2008 to Switzerland, Denmark and Norway. A study in Denmark released in December shows that 34% of Danes now own a digital radio and that it is popular in all age groups.
(Source: Digital Radio Development Bureau)