Thursday 27 March 2014

British FM Licensing Indicates Switch-Off Is Far Off

Share of DAB radio services has stagnated since 2007
British media authority Ofcom has published a consultation on the duration of analogue radio licences, and is proposing a new policy that means these licence durations will be set at 12 years. Ofcom could use its existing powers to revert to 12 year licence terms for analogue stations, instead of offering 7 years as at present. This relates to the re-award of those FM or AM licences not on DAB.
Today's consultation confirms that Ofcom no longer considers it necessary to limit licence terms in the same way, and instead proposes a new policy that will see analogue licences reverting to 12 year terms.

DAB listening share on a weekly basis in the U.K. is now 23 percent. Analogue listening share is still a significant 64 %. It is estimated that there are more then 100 million analogue radio receivers in the UK.

In the consultation document Ofcom gives the statistics showing that DAB radio services has not increased over a seven year period. The share of analogue with simulcast DAB and of DAB channels only is 21,2 % the same share 2013 as in 2007.

Even if the total number of UK radio stations has increased with 25 % to 765 during this period analogue/DAB and DAB only radio stations together have not surpassed the share of analogue stations.

Developments from 2007 to 2013:
- Radio analogue (AM, FM) - from 438 to 553  stations  (+26 %)
- Radio analogue also on DAB - from 129 to 162 stations  (+25%)
- Radio on DAB only - from 40 to 50 stations (+25%)