Tuesday, 21 May 2019

49 Shades of Grey - Why DAB Will Not Survive as Platform for Future Radio

Market and technical deficiencies presented in a new report
The Public Service Council in Sweden has released a 17 page report by a Nordic Radio Workgroup  DAB facts 2019 - Crucial problems and disadvantages with the digital system DAB  for terrestrial sound broadcasting. This report puts a finger on a sore point. As a transmission and listening platform DAB is in many parts inferior to other systems as the global standard FM or the global expanding mobile and fixed broadband platform. For the first time most DAB deficiencies and shortfalls are presented in an international report  independent from any stakeholder. 

BBC Extending 5G Radio Broadcast Trial in Scotland

Listeners very satisfied with range of stations and reception quality.
The BBC’s ground-breaking 5G broadcast radio trial in the rural community Stronsay, Orkney, has been extended until the end of September 2019. The trial began in February this year with residents in Stronsay becoming some of the first people in the world to receive live radio broadcasts over 5G mobile networks.

British Government Will Review Digital Radio

Will focus on growing challenges by online audio delivery
A new review of digital radio has been announced by Margot James, Minister for Digital and Creative Industries.James has confirmed the Government’s support for the radio sector and announced that the DCMS will collaborate with radio broadcasters and the supply chain on a review and programme of work to ‘ensure a healthy and vibrant digital future for UK radio’.                                   (Photo: Radio Today)

Saturday, 11 May 2019

FM Radio Extension in Norway. Another Setback for DAB Stakeholders

Media Authority proposes local radio may continue until 2026. But minority radio in metropolitan areas might be wiped out.
A transition from FM to DAB will cost close to NOK 1 billion.
A local FM broadcasts ban by 2021 would reduce media pluralism, according to the media authority Medietilsynet. In a report commissioned by the Ministry of Culture, it is recommended that the 198 local radio stations, both commercial and community radio, may continue on FM for another five years. The future of local radio has involved many Norwegians. The Media Authority has received views from over a hundred organizations, stakeholders and listeners in connection with the work on the report. But now the ball is at Stortinget - the parliament -which will take a decision soon.

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Switzerland: FM Radio Switch-Off Delayed Until 2024 - If Ever.

The radio industry hesitates. DAB listening is not increasing.
Switzerland has so far been the only other country, after Norway, who planned to switch-off  FM radio. But now FM seems to continue for five years. Much because the Internet becoming the most important radio platform. A spokesman for the telecommunications authority says to the Zürich daily Tages Anzeiger that there now appears to be opinions that the radio industry has not yet taken decisions on planning for FM shutdown and that the FM frequencies can be shut down later than expected, in 2024. Thus, the previous objective is missed to close in 2021. 

Netherlands Setback: More Radio Stations Leaving DAB Network

Too few listen to DAB radio. Dutch rather go online.
LX Classics and Hotradio Hits have left their broadcast positions in the national multiplex MTVNL. There is a great dissatisfaction with digital terrestrial radio on the distribution side in Holland. The transmitter network is too expensive. Above all, the real listening is too limited in order to justify the investments. The radio stations begin to focus on a future on the Internet. (Satellifax)

Population Said to Be Satisfied with Radio in Norway

DAB lobby tries to manipulate political opinion 
A recent study commissioned by,the Media Authority (Medietilsynet) claims that the majority of the population is satisfied with radio in Norway. There is no government assignment that forms the basis of this study, but it seems to be an informally ordered survey carried out in collaboration with NRK, the P4 group (NENT) and Bauer Media. The telephone survey covers 1,000 people, thus claimed to represent a population of 5 million. The survey is published just in time for an upcoming proposal about the future for local radio on FM.                                             (Pic: VG Oslo)

Monday, 29 April 2019

The DAB Backlash: Only Half of The Population Now Listen to Radio

Record low radio listening in Norway confirmed by government audience research
Only about half of the population listened to regular radio (FM, DAB or local radio), Internet radio or both daily in 2018. It is a record low. The average listening was 1 hour and 8 minutes, according to the Norwegian Media Barometer survey for the authority Statistics  Norway (SSB) - This is both the lowest proportion of radio listeners and the lowest listening time we have measured during the years the survey has been conducted, says Emma Castillo Schiro, responsible for the Norwegian Media Brometer 2018.

Sunday, 7 April 2019

Norway On the Road to Retain FM Radio

Local Radio Consultation: Strong Univocal Resistance to DAB.
Norway seems to join the rest of the world by accepting the global broadcast standard FM. The media authority has the government's task to investigate whether local radio could continue on FM after 2021. Among 55 consultation referrals, only the three national DAB stakeholders are against continued FM. Meanwhile politicians from several parties in the parliament have already committed themselves for a continued FM for local radio (See separate stories below). However, DAB stakeholders will continue their lobbying for a total FM switch-off.

Politicians Want Local Radio to Continue on FM in Norway

Local radio stations and listeners opt out of DAB
Will local radio continue on FM? That was the big issue in the political debate at the national annual conference, organized by the Norwegian local radio association in Oslo on 5 April.  On the same day, Kantar Media presented measurements that show that FM is by far the most important platform for local radio. 73% of the listening is on FM. When it comes to closing FM, Norway is still an island in the world. No other country has such plans.

Norway: Authority Fines Local FM Radio In Order to Protect Commercial DAB

Radio stations risk bankruptcy. Bureaucracy moves to kill retainment of FM.
The Norwegian media authority fines NOK 1.05 million three local radio stations, which the Media Authority believes have had much larger advertising revenues than the broadcasting conditions allow. The decision, which came the day before the Norwegian local radio association began its annual conference in Oslo on April 5, is seen by many as provocative and as an ordering job for the two commercial companies that broadcast nationally at DAB.  On top of this the authority is in the midst of a ministry ordered investigation about a ten year extension of FM license period for local radio.

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Market Signals a Lost Radio Technology

Chip manufacturer losses widen amid weaker DAB sales
British tech company Frontier Smart Technologies Ltd  reported annual pre-tax losses widened as revenues fell by more than a fifth amid weaker digital radio (DAB) sales. For the year ended 31 December 2018, pre-tax losses widened to $3.3m from $2.1m a year earlier, and revenue fell 21% to $41.8m according to StockMarketWire.com.  According to our analysis the global smartphone revolution will curb future demand for stand-alone radio sets.