Ed Vaizey has confirmed the Government’s vision of a digital future for radio but said he wanted to continue to improve the service, and reach coverage and listening criteria before a radio switchover.
This means the radio industry has no deadline to work towards, but will continue as it has been doing for over a decade in trying to build a better digital radio experience for listeners.
The Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries confirmed that we are not ready for a radio switchover and that consumer listening and DAB coverage criteria would need to be met in order for switchover dates to be set. He said that funding was in place for Ofcom to develop a route to digital for small local stations. The Minister stated that the DVLA was preparing to include information about digital radio in all vehicle tax reminders.
In addition, a second commercial national DAB multiplex will be advertised, and Government funding will be provided to expand local and national reach.
A Digital ‘tick’ mark will be introduced for manufacturers to include on their products
The Government criteria for setting a date for digital radio switchover are now as follows:
• Digital listening share to reach 50% of all listening hours
• When local commercial and national DAB coverage reaches FM equivalence
• Significant progress on conversion of cars to digital radio
Only then will a date be set. Follow our live blog from this event, continuing till 1pm.
Photo: Steve Holebrook from Arqiva, Will Harding from Global Radio, Helen Boaden from BBC, Paul Keenan from Bauer Media and Minister Ed Vaizey.