The UK Drive to Digital Event

Tim Davie (acting Director General of the BBC) spoke at the Drive to Digital event that attracted over 300 delegates from the broadcasting and automotive industry

Tim Davie (acting Director General of the BBC) spoke at the Drive to Digital event that attracted over 300 delegates from the broadcasting and automotive industry

In 2012 we saw real momentum in the invehicle digital radio market. This is set to  continue and in Q4 2013 we will see a UK  Government decision and announcement on a  digital radio switchover. Increased take-up in  vehicles is vital and although 25 million people  listen to digital radio each week and over 42%  of homes have a digital radio, only 5% of cars  have it.

  The Digital Radio UK (DRUK) Drive 2 Digital  conference in november 2012 attracted  over 300 people from Government, industry and media from the UK and Europe.  The UK Broadcast Minister Ed Vaizey  confirmed government would make a public  announcement on a switchover in 2013 and  that industry needed to prepare. Minimum  receiver specifications are now available and  manufacturers should be starting to build to  those requirements. We heard from speakers  such as Ford, Peugeot/Citroen, Pure, BBC and  the European Broadcast Union about progress  and what to expect in 2013.

By Q3v 2012, 26% of new cars came with  DAB digital radio fitted as standard (CAP/ SMMT), up from 17% the previous year and  only 5% in the same period in 2010. In 2012  Vauxhall, VW and BMW all announced they  would be fitting DAB as standard across their  ranges. More announcements will follow this  year and Digital Radio UK predicts that the  majority of new car registrations will have DAB  as standard by the end of 2013.

There is now a much wider range of  aftermarket adapters and we know that this  will continue to grow in 2013. The first fully  integrated adapters launched last year as  The panel called for greater co-operation between broadcasters and the  automotive industry  and   well as over 3,000 franchised vehicle dealers  starting to offer aftermarket adapters to  customers for the first time. A new training and accreditation has also been launched for installers.

Coverage improvements continue

National  BBC DAB coverage is now 94% and the target  is to reach 97% by the end of 2015. Last  year also saw a landmark agreement between  government, BBC and commercial radio to  build out local DAB coverage. As part of this agreement, 13 local DAB multiplexes will be  launched by the end of 2013.

As well as DAB, streaming radio over IP in  a car is also set to grow, supported by new  connected cars and devices, new radio  apps such as Radioplayer and improved 4G  services.  To drive consumer interest and take-up, the  new industry advertising campaign “If you  love radio, go digital” featuring digital radio  evangelist D Love, launched in november 2012  on BBC TV, BBC radio and commercial radio  and will run throughout 2013.

We are expecting another strong year for in-car  digital radio in 2013 and we hope progress  in the UK will help boost other international  markets.

Laurence Harrison
Technology and Market Development Director
Digital Radio UK



This entry was posted on February 23, 2013 by in Automotive Industry, Digital Radio Rollout, Europe, Events, Marketing, Receivers.

About WorldDAB

WorldDAB is the global forum for digital radio, facilitating the adoption and implementation of digital broadcast radio based on DAB, DAB+. Its membership includes public and commercial broadcasters, network providers, receiver, chip and car manufacturers.

To contribute to Eureka!, email


Follow WorldDAB on Twitter