Digital radio tick mark launched
The new digital radio ‘tick mark’ was launched to automotive industry attendees at a digital radio briefing at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders today.
The tick mark, initially for automotive digital radios and for car digital radio installers, will appear towards the end of this year and can be used on approved car digital radios and by registered car audio installers who have passed a training and accreditation programme managed by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI). Announcing the launch of the tick mark, Digital Radio UK’s CEO Ford Ennals said; “This is a big day for digital radio in-car. Consumers will now have a clear and visible sign that their car digital radio is future-ready with DAB and FM radio stations, and will be reassured that they can find trained and qualified installers to fit them.”
Setting out how the automotive industry has invested heavily in digital radio, SMMT’s Chief Executive, Mike Hawes said “the introduction of the digital radio tick mark is a welcome development for motorists. It will provide added reassurance in the technology, a crucial factor in accelerating uptake in new and used vehicles.”
Laurence Harrison of Digital Radio UK took the audience through the application process for the mark and described how the tick would be managed. He said that significant vehicle manufacturers and installers have already confirmed that they want to use the mark. Jane Ostler, Communications Director of Digital Radio UK, outlined how the tick would be communicated to consumers, and announced a landmark agreement between DRUK and DVLA to use their communications channels to raise awareness and understanding of how to get digital radio in-car.
Attendees at the briefing, including representatives from Vauxhall, Peugeot, Citroen, BMW, Ford of Britain, Motor Codes, Halfords, Kwik-Fit, and manufacturers such as Pioneer, Kenwood, JVC and Pure, heard about the expansion of national and local DAB coverage from Arqvia and Ofcom. Paul Eaton, Director of Digital Radio at Arqiva, summarised the new BBC national coverage buildout plans for around 160 new transmitters which will increase BBC coverage of their national stations to 97% over the next two years, and Neil Stock, Head of Radio Policy at Ofcom, spoke about the investment in local coverage including around 200 new transmitters over the same period, and the licensing of the new national commercial DAB network Digital Two.
Vehicle manufacturers and retailers were also updated on the unmissable summer of sport and music on BBC and commercial radio, and MD of talkSPORT Calum Macaulay gave an overview of talkSPORT's coverage plans for the Brazil World Cup.