Broadcasters from across Europe have come together to form an Alliance to promote digital radio.
The agreement was reached by commercial and public service radio leaders in Paris this week.
The 12 companies involved run more than 300 radio stations and reach more than 130 million listeners. Meeting at the annual Radiodays Europe conference they elected the Director of BBC Radio, Helen Boaden, as the first President of the European Digital Radio Alliance.
Helen Boaden said: ‘Members of the Alliance are sending a clear signal that they share a commitment to making DAB radio the predominant means of distribution in their areas of operation.
‘Digital radio offers great advantages to listeners but for too long we have seen it as a national issue. That fragmented approach has been holding back investment.
‘As DAB becomes the natural choice for consumers we want Europe to embrace it and manufacturers to offer DAB alongside FM in sets and vehicles, just as they did for medium-wave and FM, and at a price which is attractive to the consumer.
‘That will only happen if people see we are united in our determination to bring consumers the benefits of digital radio. The Alliance is here to provide that united front and to speak with one voice to manufacturers, governments and regulators.’
New broadcaster members with a commitment to DAB radio are welcome to join the Alliance. The founder members are:
ARD companies (Germany)
Die Neue Welle (Germany)
Bauer Media Group (UK & Nordics)
SRG SSR (Switzerland)
Radio Arabella (Austria)
The European Digital Radio Alliance is established in partnership with the European Broadcasting Union and is based at the Union’s headquarters at L’Ancienne-Route 17A, 1218 Le Grand-Saconnex, Switzerland.
Digital Radio UK welcomed the agreement, as Ford Ennals, CEO says: “Digital Radio UK welcomes today’s announcement of the establishment of the European Digital Radio Alliance. It is a really positive development for digital radio to have public service and commercial broadcasters in 13 leading digital markets in Europe working together to deliver a digital future for radio.
“We look forward to working with the Alliance to encourage radio and vehicle manufacturers to incorporate DAB technology, alongside FM, into all products sold in Europe.”