Buoyed by the German launch of DAB+ in late 2011 and the significant progress made in more established markets across Europe and Asia Pacific, 2012 was a year of significant progress for the DAB family of standards.
The introduction of cheaper silicon solutions and more receivers in a greater variety of shapes, colours and sizes has ensured that consumers are able to buy into the new services on air at an affordable price. The automotive industry is now also on board. Announcements have been made throughout 2012 by leading automotive brands that they will be line fitting the DAB family of standards across their ranges. January 2013 starts with BMW also line fitting DAB as standard in all their vehicles in the UK.
The automotive industry and receiver manufacturers are also taking more seriously the requirements of catering for the car park of vehicles that are solely analogue enabled. 2011 saw only a few in-car after market DAB solutions available but during 2012 this number has grown significantly. For WorldDMB, addressing the automotive industry and representing its member’s requirements has been a top priority for the past few years and it will continue to be so. WorldDMB members will continue to be represented through attendance and active participation at international automotive events during 2013.
2012 was also a year in which emphasis was placed on the importance of demonstrating to the broadcasting industry the financial benefits of upgrading to the DAB family of standards. WorldDMB commissioned the Business Case scenarios Report for this purpose. The report was presented at a number of key events throughout 2012. These were attended by broadcasters from Europe and Asia Pacific. The report provides evidence based research and case studies of tried and tested methods for generating additional revenue through the DAB family of standards.
The finale to 2012 for WorldDMB was the 18th WorldDMB General Assembly where we heard some very interesting presentations. We saw Germany demonstrating the significant steps that have been made one year on from launch with details on the progress of network rollout and coverage, new services on air and new revenue generation schemes for digital radio stations. We also heard about further strong financial incentives to upgrade to the DAB family of standards from more established markets on the economics of broadcasting such as from Norway and Australia. These statistics make for positive reading and provide an even stronger argument for upgrading to the DAB family of standards.