BBC not yet ready to abandon analogue radio

Newsline

by Chris King

The latest figures reveal that digital radio listening is growing by 11% year-on-year, and 29.2% of all radio listening takes place through DAB devices, online or via digital TVs.

Of all digital listening platforms, DAB remains the most popular, constituting 65.2% of all digital hours; digital TVs make up 8% while online listening reached 7% in the Q1 figures for this year.

In order for a “digital date” to be mandated by the government, the digital figure must reach 50%. Some analysts have predicted that the digital adoption date could be as late as 2020, having originally been predicted for 2013 and subsequently 2015.

The BBC has confirmed that it will continue to provide analogue transmissions, with the government yet to decide upon a date for the adoption of digital radio.

Tim Davie, BBC director of audio and music said: “We should be selling radios with DAB and FM [reception] so that they are future-proof”, speaking at a digital radio conference in London.

Adding that the case for digital is becoming clearer, Davie underlined the need for radio manufacturers to continue to include analogue reception in newly-built devises.

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