At a packed Doing the DAB event in Cardiff on Thursday night the audience heard from BBC Radio Wales, Nation Radio and Communicorp about the thriving digital radio market in South Wales.
Topics also included the need for further DAB coverage build-out and the significant launch of a new digital station for Wales, Radio Cymru 2.
The event, organised by Digital Radio UK and chaired by Neil Sloan, Radio Academy Wales Chair and Group Head of Programming and News at Communicorp UK, heard from Capital South Wales Breakfast presenter Mark Lissack; David Lloyd, Radio Historian; Colin Paterson, Editor at BBC Radio Wales; Betsan Powys, Editor at BBC Radio Cymru; and Jason Bryant, Executive Chairman at Nation Broadcasting.
Colin Paterson outlined how BBC Radio Wales were using digital platforms to better serve listeners and talked about BBC plans to improve coverage and distribution in Wales. Betsan Powys discussed plans for a new digital station BBC Radio Cymru 2 which will be a music and entertainment based service which she hoped would be launched later this year. Jason Bryant talked about the range of Nation services available across South Wales and emphasised that more support was needed to build out local DAB coverage across Wales.
Sam Bonham, Digital Radio UK highlighted how digital listening in Cardiff was increasing towards 50%, currently at 46.6%, and how DAB digital radio ownership had grown to almost 60% of households. He pointed out that in 2018 it was likely there would be an increase in the number of local commercial and community stations available on DAB in Cardiff and South Wales with the
proposed roll-out of the DCMS small-scale DAB multiplex programme.
Doing the DAB: Cardiff was part of a nationwide series of digital radio events that has been held in Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham and Liverpool. The next Doing the DAB event is on 17 November at the Belfast Media Festival with speakers from BBC Northern Ireland, BBC Radio Foyle, Bauer’s Downtown and Cool FM, Wireless Group, RTE and Arqiva. To attend the session you should register for the Belfast Media Festival at belfastmediafestival.co.uk and notify [email protected]
Laurence Harrison, Director Digital Radio UK, said: “Doing the DAB highlighted that Cardiff and South Wales is an incredibly vibrant and competitive radio market that is being transformed by the growth of digital radio. We had an amazing line-up of speakers from right across the radio industry in Wales talking about their support for a digital future for radio in Wales, about proposed new stations and the importance of building out DAB coverage in Wales.”
This event was backed by Radio Academy, RadioToday, Radio and Digital Radio UK.