Radio sector unveils new company to advance DAB

The radio industry has announced the launch of a company to prepare for the planned digital upgrade in 2015.

Digital Radio UK will represent the BBC and commercial radio as well as multiplex operator Arqiva to help the industry meet the timetable for the digital radio upgrade set out in the Digital Britain report earlier this year.

The company, which is looking to recruit a chief executive, will work with the car industry to boost take-up and installation of digital radios in new vehicles as well as with digital radio manufacturers and retailers to help boost sales.

It will incorporate migration advisory body Digital Radio Delivery Group, which itself recently absorbed the Digital Radio Development Bureau and aims to become “a new consumer-facing brand that will co-ordinate and manage the expansion of the digital radio platform throughout the UK.”

BBC director of audio and music Tim Davie says the launch of the company “is a clear indication that the whole radio industry is committed to securing a digital future for radio”.

Stephen Miron, chief executive of Global Radio, says the co-ordinated approach will benefit both listeners and advertisers.

DAB has been the subject of considerable debate over the past two years, with many observers questioning the benefits of and radio groups’ appetite for the technology despite rising set sales and the number of listeners.

The announcement follows the formation of the Radio Council in April, a partnership between the BBC and commercial radio, designed to develop joint digital initiatives.

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