Patrick Hannon, President, WorldDAB
I was recently creating a slide looking at what’s changed since February for DAB in Europe – and was blown away by how much has changed in just over half a year.
In just six months there have been significant funding announcements in Germany and Belgium, with the latter working towards a ‘federal’ DAB+ launch in late 2017 or early 2018.
Norway and Switzerland are at the forefront of digital switchover plans, with only five months until Norway starts switching off FM. Switzerland has announced funding for a major promotional campaign ahead of their plans, due to start in 2020.
The UK continues to show excellent growth in digital listening, with the latest results from Rajar revealing that 45% of radio listening is on a digital device – firmly on track to hit the 50% figure, which must be achieved before the government will make a decision about digital switchover.
DAB+ networks are growing in France and Italy, with a call for applications taking place in Strasbourg, Lyon and Lille and the national commercial multiplex in Italy due to cover 85% of the population in 2017.
The Netherlands has completed the rollout of its nationwide public network and is now optimizing networks for indoor coverage; while Denmark has announced a national commercial multiplex will be on air in 2017.
More and more trials are planned or already taking place: tenders have been issued in Slovenia; an existing trial in Slovakia has been extended from one city to five and in Austria a trial in Vienna has just celebrated its first anniversary.
Not bad progress for just over six months and excellent news for DAB.