Saturday, 12 March 2011

DAB radio take-up in the UK: the 2010 year-end scorecard

“I think that there is great potential for digital radio, as the UK and Danish experiences demonstrate.”
Neelie Kroes, vice president for the digital agenda, European Commission, 3 March 2011

“This milestone is part of building momentum for the transition to digital radio in the UK …”
Digital Radio UK, December 2010

“I think that there has been a transformation in the last twelve months.”
Ford Ennals, chief executive, Digital Radio UK, February 2011

“2010 was a fantastic year for the DAB family, with much encouraging news and positive activity from individual markets …”
Jørn Jensen, president, World DMB, March 2011

“We are seeing increased momentum and activity as digital radio switchover moves from debate to reality …”
Bernie O’Neil, project director, World DMB, March 2011

“2010 had a real sense of forward momentum and activity …”
Caroline Brindle, project office manager, World DMB, March 2011

“Building momentum”? “Transformation”? “Fantastic year”? “Increased momentum”? “Forward momentum”?

Is this DAB radio that we are talking about? In the UK, at year-end 2010, the picture looked like this:

DAB radio receiver penetration:
· 2010 year-end forecast: 53.4% (Digital Radio Development Bureau, 2007)
· 2010 year-end actual: 35.8%

Cumulative DAB radio receiver sales:
· 2010 year-end forecast: 24.5 million (Digital Radio Development Bureau, 2006)
· 2010 year-end actual: 12.5 million

DAB radio receiver sales as % total receiver sales:
· Q1 2011 forecast: 50% (Digital Radio Working Group, 2009)
· Q1 2010 actual: 21%

Radio listening via digital platforms:
2010 year-end forecast: 50% (Ofcom, 2006)
2010 year-end actual: 25%

Radio listening via digital platforms:
2015 year-end forecast: 50% (Digital Radio Working Group, 2009)
2010 year-end actual: 25%

Radio listening via digital platforms:
2010 year-end forecast: 31% (Digital Britain: drive to digital, 2009)
2010 year-end actual: 25%

Commercial radio listening via digital platforms:
2010 year-end forecast: 40% (RadioCentre, 2007)
2010 year-end actual: 24%

None of the stakeholder forecasts of DAB take-up in the UK have come to pass. In this respect, 2010 was no better a year than any other.

Neelie Kroes is mistaken. Evidence from the UK experience certainly does not demonstrate the “great potential” for DAB radio.

1 comment:

SMSbuster said...

Doesn't look like much "momentum" for DAB:

http://www.google.com/trends?q=dab%2C+dab+radios%2C+portable+dab+radios

Or, for HD Radio in the US:

http://www.google.com/trends?q=hd+radio%2C+hd+radios%2C+portable+hd+radios%2C+hd+radio+portables&ctab=0&geo=us&date=all&sort=0