New Government confirms commitment to digital radio & launches switchover action plan
Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, will today confirm the new Government's commitment to digital radio switchover and unveil the Digital Radio Action Plan.
Speaking today at the electronics manufacturers' industry body Intellect Annual Conference, in his first public speech since taking office, the Minister will say:
"The Digital Radio Action Plan I am publishing today sets out our clear commitment to make progress towards digital radio switchover."
The Minster will announce details of the Digital Radio Action Plan for Switchover, including:
• Agreeing a coverage plan for building DAB coverage to match FM
• The development of a strategic marketing and communications plan
• The development of a digital radio kitemark scheme
• The development of a program of activity on cars and vehicles
• The assessment of the necessity of a help scheme
Ford Ennals, Chief Executive, Digital Radio UK, said:
"We welcome confirmation of the new Government's strong support for digital radio and the publication of the Joint Industry and Government Action Plan. It gives us the certainty we need that radio has a digital future. The focus on consumers, coverage and cars is vital and Digital Radio UK looks forward to working with Government and industry to ensure the UK is ready for digital radio switchover."
Andrew Harrison, Chief Executive, RadioCentre, said:
"We are delighted that the new Government has recognised the benefits that digital radio brings for listeners. Certainty around the roadmap to digital radio switchover will help all stations within the commercial sector to invest in the future, with larger stations migrating solely to the digital platform, while smaller stations continue broadcasting on FM."
Tim Davie, Director of Audio and Music, BBC, said:
"We welcome the Government's commitment to radio's digital future and the importance they have placed on the listener in any future switchover. The BBC will, along with Digital Radio UK, work closely with Government and the rest of the radio sector to deliver the Action Plan."
Paul Eaton, Director of Radio at Arqiva, said:
"This clear statement from Government will help industry to ensure that digital radio has an exciting future alongside other digital technologies."
About Digital Radio UK
Digital Radio UK works with Government, broadcasters, manufacturers, retailers, and a wide range of stakeholders to accelerate digital listening, to enable the expansion of the digital radio platform, and to ensure that industry meets the consumer-led criteria to be achieved by 2013, for a proposed radio switchover in 2015. Digital Radio UK's Board comprises representatives from the BBC, RadioCentre, Arqiva, Global Radio, Bauer Media, GMG Radio, Intellect and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
About digital radio
43% of radio listeners listen to digital radio each week (20 million listeners, an increase of 2.5 million listeners from last year). Digital radio accounts for 24% of total radio listening. Over 11 million digital radios have been sold and digital radios are in 35% of all homes.