Ofcom's Digital Radio Vision

17 September 2004

In anticipation of its report into the roll-out of digital radio in the UK, industry regulator Ofcom's ceo Stephen Carter has been sharing his vision of the future.

Speaking to a seminar at social policy think-tank, the Social Market Foundation, Mr Carter said the challenge for broadcasters lay in persuading the radio audience that it wanted a digital service.

He did not anticipate a general 'switch off' of the analogue signal, such as is planned for TV in the UK, but a more gradual take-up.

He said digital radio was becoming more popular, particularly through the internet, cell phones and TV. Terrestrial DAB digital radio sets were also beginning to move out of the stores after a slow start.

According to Ofcom's research, 27 per cent of listeners who had used digital radio on any platform tuned in to radio more than they did before. Almost 40 per cent listened to more radio stations than before and 52 per cent said they valued and used the extra choice.

Ofcom's report is due in November.

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff