The WorldDAB organisation reports that almost 12 million DAB receivers were sold in 2017 in Europe and Asia Pacific, a new record for yearly sales. Almost half (5.9m) of the sales were for automotive devices, with key markets showing a significant increase in the number of cars sold with DAB fitted as standard.
The new data published by WorldDAB shows ”strong growth in the uptake of DAB across all major digital radio markets”. The WorldDAB infographic covers DAB receiver sales, population coverage, household penetration, digital radio reach, DAB share of listening and the number of national stations available on DAB – with statistics for ten markets in Europe and Asia Pacific up to the end of 2017. Cumulative sales for DAB receivers have now reached over 65 million for the markets covered: Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and the UK. (WorldDAB infographics below)
Patrick Hannon, President, WorldDAB said: The last 12 months have been a strong period for DAB radio. International receiver sales are at their highest level ever – boosted by the switch-off of FM in Norway and strong growth in other European markets. He also says that DAB is increasingly becoming a global standard.
Sales of DAB radios in Norway in 2018 is not going according to expectations. Prior to the Easter holidays the leading importer and seller of DAV receivers Sahaga AS put a lots of brands for sale at 40-50% discount. According to its financial analysis the chain Mekonomen concluded that during the first quarter it was negatively affected by significantly lower sales of DAB products in Norway. During the first quarter, a writedown of DAB products in inventories was made which had a negative effect of SEK 20 million on earnings.
WorldDAB is an organisation created by public broadcasters and the EBU in the 1990’s in order topromote the DAB technology for terrestrial digital radio. Promoters of other competing system (somemore modern and efficient) lack the power of WorldDAB which is much funded by public means (tv license fees or taxes). The other systems are DRM, HD Radio, DVB-T2 Lite, CDR and ISDB-T.
Analysis WorldDAB is trying to make bricks without straw. The cumulative sales for DAB receivers presented with infographics by WorldDAB indicates sales of 65 million sets 2008-2017 but the real period is starting already 1995 with the U.K. representing most sales; 55 %. It should also be noted that sales in Norway is not made on a free market driven by consumer demand but rather by coercion. Listeners were forced to switch-over from FM (and old DAB) to DAB+ in order to be able to listen to national radio. To include this in ”record sales” is just dishonest.
The WorldDAB figures should also be put in a global perspective. There are more than 6 billion FM receivers in the world only to be challenged by 2,5 billion smartphones as a platform for radio listening. It is quite difficult to envisage Patrick Hannon’s vision that DAB is becoming “a global standard”.
As always with its infographics WorldDAB never mention the listeners. How many are really using DAB as a listening platform? There are only five countries with a DAB listening on a weekly basis of more than 10%; the U.K. Denmark, Norway, Australia and Switzerland. And all 220 countries in the world are still using FM radio – even Norway.
For a technology being on the market for more than 22 years an installed based of 65 million receivers it is a record – of failure. There might be some problems as slanted facts presented by a resourceful lobby organisation are being regularly republished without any prior scrutiny by media journalists.
(da radiotoday.co.uk 7 marzo 2018) The ten small-scale DAB triallists operating multiplexes around the UK will continue their service till 31 March 2020. By extending the trial period, around 150 radio services will continue to be available to listeners in the test areas. The trial extension will also allow Ofcom to continue gathering useful information to help inform a new, formal framework for licensing small-scale DAB multiplexes across the UK, which is currently in development.
Ofcom expects that interested parties, including the current trial licensees as well as those not taking part, will have the opportunity to apply for such licences under the new framework in 2019.
Multiplexes are on-air in Bristol, Manchester, Portsmouth, London, Cambridge, Aldershot, Brighton & Hove, Norfolk, Glasgow and Birmingham.
David Duffy from Niocast, who runs the small-scale DAB/DAB+ trial in Manchester, told RadioToday: “Niocast welcomes Ofcom’s extension of the small scale DAB/DAB+ trial to March 2020 which provides our service providers in Manchester and their loyal audiences with a level of continuity. At the same time, we understand the frustration of the many stations around the country eager to pursue a digital pathway and those who, like us, want to facilitate that by operating small-scale multiplexes.
“Hopefully it won’t be too long before there is a licensing process in place that will allow for a wide scale rollout of small-scale DAB/DAB+ across the country.”
Ten trial licences were awarded in 2015 to parties in different areas who wanted to operate a small-scale DAB multiplex. The trial multiplexes cover a relatively small geographical area compared to local and national DAB multiplexes. The small-scale DAB trials keep costs low by making use of relatively inexpensive transmission equipment and the freely available ‘open-source’ software.
They were extended for a further two years after the initial nine month trial. Ofcom has started the licence variation process with the individual trial multiplex licensees. Their current licences will expire between 30 April and 29 August 2018 if they are not extended. There is no new funding from Government or Ofcom to support trial licensees with on-going running costs.
FM Radio Will Be Retained in South Tyrol
Analogue and digital radio will co-exist also in the future
Consumer Center South Tyrol welcomes the statement of th regional government that FM broadcasting will continue to function.
Earlier the broadcaster Rundfunkanstalt Südtirol (RAS) had taken the position that the old analogue FM network would eventually coming to a switch-off.
Many radio listeners were worried that their FM radios would then be dead.
Landeshauptmann (the Governor) Dr. Arno Kompatscher has pointed out that the transition plan to digital radio DAB+ ensure universal coverage with FM radio in the future.
This provides for the South Tyrolean radio listeners also in the future the choice between digital and analog radio. Currently, 8 out of 10 radio users listen to analog FM radio, while 1 in 4 users listen to digital radio. (www.consumer.bz.it)
This is also good news for all drivers of foreign cars and trucks which is not equipped with DAB radio and transiting this automonous Italian region from and to Austria.
This is killing the false statement by the lobby organisation WorldDAB that South Tyrol will switch-off all FM already 2017. Still, Norway is the only country in the world to switch-off its national FM network. (http://digitalradioinsider.blogspot.com/ 14 giugno 2018)
Icasa takes first step to commercial digital radio in South Africa
(da https://techcentral.co.za 13 aprile 2018) Communications regulator Icasa has taken the first step to possibly introducing digital radio broadcasting in South Africa. The authority has published a discussion document on digital sound broadcasting services to solicit feedback from the industry.
South Africa has run several trials involving both digital audio broadcasting (DAB+) and digital radio mondiale (DRM) technology, but no commercial services have been launched to date.
DAB is effectively a digital alternative to the analogue FM band, while DRM is effectively an alternative to AM broadcasts. Both offer better quality and more services than they analogue counterparts. Icasa said it intends conducting an inquiry into the prospects of implementing a digitalsound broadcasting service in South Africa.
Parties interested in commenting on the discussion document must make representations with 45 days
“Digital broadcasting service is an audio broadcasting technology aimed at providing superior quality sound broadcasting service using digital communication technology,” the regulator said in a statement. Digital services differ from traditional analogue broadcasting services in that signals can be transmitted successfully at lower transmitter power, Icasa said.
“Digital radio is also easier to use and tune in to than analogue radio,” it said. “Data capabilities of digital radio can be used directly or modified for other related broadcasting activities such as Internet radio.”
Councillor Dimakatso Qocha said digital radio, if and when implemented, could help improve spectrum efficiency and management, and offer more choice for consumers.
Parties interested in commenting on the discussion document must make representations with 45 days. The discussion document is available on Icasa’s website.
TechCentral held a round-table discussion with key figures in the radio industry in South Africa in 2017 where digital radio was discussed in detail. The panellists were Primedia Broadcasting CEO Omar Essack, Southern African Digital Broadcasting Association (Sadiba) chairman Lynn Mansfield, South African DRM consortium member and adviser to Radio Pulpit Chris Joubert, and Dave Cherry, chairman of the Sadiba/National Association of Broadcasters Digital Working Group (focused on DAB+). — (c) 2018 Bloomberg LP
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