Digital Radio Development Bureau Chief Executive Ian Dickens is to stand down from his position before the end of the year. The news comes as the bureau announce digital radio sales in the UK have passed the five million mark, according to figures from GfK, the consumer electronics industry’s research body.
Ian has held his position for five years and leaves to set sail on a round the world trip with his wife which begins in the autumn.
Five million sets sold equates to nearly 10 million listeners tuning in to DAB around the UK. This marries well with RAJAR’s figure of 19.5% of the adult population living in a DAB household. DAB set penetration now stands at 18% of all UK homes and is well on track to meet the 20.6% penetration forecast by the DRDB for the end of 2007.
The past 12 months have seen some exciting innovations in DAB digital radio, including music downloads to mobile phones and the arrival of DABverts. GCap Media Group Strategy and Development Director Will Harding hailed scrolling inline text ads on DAB sets as a success as this weeks Digital Radio Show, as reported by RadioToday.co.uk on Monday.
The recent announcement of an iPod plug-in device that allows users to tune in DAB and FM via their iPod has been warmly welcomed by the radio industry.
DRDB Chairman, Ralph Bernard said yesterday: "Ian has been a superb champion of DAB digital radio and is rightly credited with helping to pull the industry together to make it happen. Today’s announcement of five million sales – up from two million less than two years ago – underlines how successful he has been. The DRDB board is very grateful to Ian and we wish him well on his exciting trip. The DRDB remains an integral part of radio’s digital development and we’re all looking forward to the next three years when household penetration is forecast to reach 50%."
Ian Dickens: “I have seen DAB digital radio grow from around 135,000 units sold to over five million; from 19 products in 2002 to over 300 today; from an entry level price of £99 to £29 today; from 600 independent retailers to over 8,500 outlets including the key mass merchandisers in 2007, and from a listening base of practically zero to nearly one-in-five of the adult population. I joined the DRDB after 20 years’ marketing experience in UK consumer electronics and I believe I have met the challenge the board set for me back in 2002. Today, radio has evolved, and I feel the next step in DAB’s development requires someone with expertise and knowledge in new target areas. I have enjoyed my tenure with the radio industry, but now feel it is time to pass the baton to someone who can take digital radio into its next phase of development.”
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