Digital Audio Broadcasting in the UK

[Image courtesy of cpchannel / Flickr]

Digital Audio Broadcasting [DAB] is something that we have all heard about from one degree or another. XM and Sirius are forms of DAB. So is HD Radio. The DAB nomenclature is most often associated with the digital radio boom in the UK.

There has been some talk of HD Radio being DOA, too little too late, and generally mangled from the start. There is much evidence to support that. Poor marketing campaign / tactics, faulty equipment, expensive equipment, reluctance from the FCC to give formal approval to HD multicasting, lacking clear benefit to consumers, etc.

I have perused the 2006 Ofcom report [the UK’s Office of Communications, sister to the US FCC], as posted and promised earlier, and I have discovered some astonishing things:

* UK DAB-capable radio garnered market penetration of 5.8%, up from 2.4% the previous year

* The audience-measuring entity in the UK, RAJAR, currently measures 22 stations that broadcast exclusively in these digital only platforms

* 19% of respondents will likely buy a DAB radio in the next 6 months.

* 54% of all portable radios sold were DAB-capable.

It seems to be growing quickly there. Why not here? Satellite radio may take some wind out of the sails [sales] in the US, granted. These radios were sold in what is undoubtedly the most complex and dizzying media environment to date. Podcasts, internet radio, mobile phones all add to the cacauphony, yet consumers are flocking to the sets.

Why not here?

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