Monday, June 2, 2008

Digital radio is fast approaching, get ready for more change

Digital radio is the most significant advancement in radio broadcasting since FM was introduced, almost 30 years ago.

The platform will offer many similar advantages to digital TV. Such as:
  • Improved sound quality
  • More channels/programmes, deeper content
  • Ability to pause and rewind live to air
  • Ease of tuning (no need to remember frequency)
In addition, depending on the player, your radio will now come with concurrent text and data. So, for example, if you are listening to a tune and wondering who the artist is, simply look at the player and you'll be in the know, as this type of info will be scrolling (along with traffic updates, news and weather, what's coming up next etc). More upmarket players will offer images as well, and both text and image will offer new advantages to advertisers (call to action, location details etc).

You will need to buy a new digital radio for access. Once you've purchased, however, there are no subscription cost, the rest is gratis. Plug ins will also be available for your existing MP3 player if you are looking for a cheaper option.

Consumer tests have taken place and the results are strong. The key statistic being that post investing in a digital player, over 50% of people listen to more radio than they did prior.

So what to expect? From a consumer perspective there will be a heavy campaign pre Xmas aiming to push buyers into store to purchase new radio equipment. There will be heavy point of sale in store across the period as well. This will be followed by an industry 'launch' in early 2009 involving all stations in metro markets designed to create awareness and promote new services.

Back to work, and I'm guessing you'll feel it arrive before you hear it. Given an on air date of January 1, 2009, you can guarantee sales folk will be out sprucing towards the end of the year.

So start thinking about the applications for this technology now, it will be hear (here) before you know it!

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