Carsten Zorger from Digitalradio Büro Deutschland on DAB+ progress in Germany and the timing of a potential digital switchover
German digital radio is in good health, with plenty of positive stories emerging in the build-up to both IFA and IBC. The Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate announced support for an initiative outlining that all radio devices should have digital capability and the end of August saw the five-year anniversary of digital radio services in the country.
At IFA new statistics were announced reflecting the take up of DAB+, and Carsten Zorger says that progress in the last year has been impressive.
“There are now five million households with DAB+ radios in Germany and over eight million receivers out there,” said Zorger. “93% of Germans listen to the radio daily and DAB+ has a reach of more than a third – so there’s still plenty of work to do.”
The rollout of digital radio in Germany will progress in three phases; Start up, migration and then the move to DSO.
“We are in the first phase now and moving towards migration,” explains Zorger. “The migration phase will take around five years and this is where you will see a lot happening with new services and coverage. By the end of this year we’ll have 90% coverage and we estimate it will take four more years to achieve ‘full’ (98%) coverage.”
“There is no plan for a switchover date yet, but it’s the migration phase that will help build momentum while giving the public time to buy new receivers and the industry to adapt. If plans progress as planned we could be looking at 2020-2022 for when we start talking about setting a date for DSO.”
Along with closely following the Norwegian lessons, attention at IBC will be on collecting best practise for DAB+ marketing and promotion.
“At IBC I’m hoping to be surprised and impressed by the progress of DAB+ across Europe,” said Zorger. “We’re looking for clever marketing ideas and procedures that we can learn from and adapt for Germany.”
Carsten Zorger is speaking at WorldDAB’s Insight Session on Monday September 12th. For more information click here.