Wednesday 5 November 2014

Broadcasters Question DAB Venture in Denmark

DAB Technology in Doubt - Online Radio Might Take Over 
Copyright organizations join the critics
Some of the major private radio broadcasters together with the music copyright organizations are skeptical that DAB should be the future digital platform in Denmark. This is expressed in a letter to Folketinget - the Danish Parliament. Among the signatories is surprisingly SBS Discovery (at present behind the DAB efforts in Norway and Sweden).

The signatories fear the development of a technology which nobody believes in  any longer and that nobody would venture a political decision to stop it or change strategy. They point to the fact that DAB/DAB+ has a limited use in Europe and presents no clear advantages for the listeners.

There are clear indications that radio listening is shifting from FM and DAB to online listening on tablets, smartphones and computers. It is difficult to imagen that younger generations will invest in classical radio receivers.

In the letter it is also stressed that a digital radio strategy is welcome but in Denmark the broadcast license holders of nationwide networks are forced to send DAB even if is not profitable. It is neccessary for a strategy that the needs and the possibilities of DAB-distributions are screened. Both in relation to the technological facilities and the wishes and needs of consumers. Already today we can se that the penetration together with FM is at a low level  and this, together with the expected future developments of 3G, 4G and 5G, should advance the planned market poll from 2016 to 2015.

The letter to the group leaders of political parties in Folketinget as well as the parliamentarians in charge of culture and media. The letter is signed by representatives of SBS Discovery Media, SBS Discovery Radio and Radio 24syv (privately owned public service channel), as well as the copyright organizations Gramex och Koda.

Denmark is one of four European countries with a significant involvement in DAB both on the broadcasting side and the receiving side. The other countries are Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom with a DAB listening of 10 percent or more on a weekly basis.