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Digital Radio in Germany: a spotlight on Bavaria

germanyBavaria, a state in the south west of Germany,  has a long history with the DAB standard of  families. It was the first region to see a DAB  station network in 1995 and paved the way  in terms of DAB deployment in Germany. The  state is the second most highly populated in  Germany with 12.5 million potential listeners in  the region. Bavaria is becoming a case study  in how to rollout digital radio and make the  transition from DAB to DAB+.

The success in Bavaria has been mainly  due to the cooperation between public  broadcaster, Bayerischer Rundfunk and  some of the major commercial broadcasters  in the region, such as Antenne Bayern  and Absolut Radio to name a few. This  broadcaster cooperation is also helped by a  proactive regulator, the Bavarian regulator the  Bayerische Landeszentrale für neue Medien  (BLM). Throughout the implementation of  DAB in the region and as part of the transition  to DAB+ the BLM offered help, support and  incentives to broadcasters to ensure long  term benefits to switching to digital radio.

The development in Bavaria would also not  have been possible without Bayern Digital  Radio (BDR). Founded in 1998 and based  in Munich the company combines the  know-how of Bayerischer Rundfunk, Media  Broadcast (the national network operator),  Bayerische Medien Technik Gmbh and  includes the participation of the Bavarian  Regulatory Authority for Commercial  Broadcasting. Core business of the company  is the swift and efficient expansion of the  digital radio network in Bavaria. In addition,  the company undertakes the marketing  of capacity units for digital radio and data  services. Their consumer website, promotional events and marketing have ensured that  consumers in the region were aware of digital  radio from the start and continued to support  the marketing of digital radio for the  benefit  of all broadcasters – not always an easy job  with the changing landscape of digital radio in  Germany.

Automotive

Bavaria is at the heart of the German  automotive industry and broadcasters in the  region have been working closely with the  car industry over the past couple of years to  promote the benefits of digital radio to the  automotive industry. Bavaria has one of the  most developed digital radio networks and  so makes a good region for in car testing.  Regular discussions are held with BMW and  Audi, who are both in the region and a press  conference was held in Munich in 2010 to  allow the German automotive industry to voice  its support for digital radio.

Moving to DAB+

Unlike the rest of Germany where the launch  of DAB+ is heralding a new era for digital radio Bavaria is having to adapt its DAB networks,  deal with the issue of legacy receivers and,  in some respects start from a new beginning  as the choice on digital expands locally,  regionally and now for the first time nationally.  however, the Bavarians are attacking the  challenge and using the knowledge gained  from their experiences of DAB to make DAB+  a success. It was announced in mid-2012  that 200,000 listeners tune into digital radio  (DAB+) on at least one digital radio channel  per day on an average weekday in the region  of Bavaria…this is only one year after the start  of DAB+ digital radio in Germany and is an  impressive start! Bavaria can also boast that  its listeners have the greatest choice of digital  services of all the Bundeslander in Germany,  both from the public and commercial  sector. stations on-air can be viewed at the  WorldDMB website under the German country  information section. http://www.worlddab.org/ country_information_/germany

 Coverage and future plans

2013 looks like another good year for the  Bavarian market with plans for new data  services from the public broadcaster – BR  already broadcasts additional programme  related information such as news, weather,  traffic and travel information, sports scores  and airport information. The marketing  initiatives in this region are also going ahead  with the backing of campaigns now from the  nation digital radio network.

WorldDMB Project Office

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This entry was posted on February 23, 2013 by in Business Case Studies, Content and Services, Digital Radio Rollout, Europe, Marketing, Receivers.

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