by Aris Erdogdu, Communications Manager, WorldDAB
At the start of March, the French regulator CSA announced its decision to grant Radio France with a licence to broadcast its six radio stations – France Inter, France Info, France Culture, France Musique, FIP and Mouv’ – nationally on DAB+. This decision underlined the interest expressed by all major radio groups in France in broadcasting in DAB+, something that Radio France CEO Sibyle Veil reiterated in an interview with Les Echos earlier this month. This article highlights some of the reasons behind Radio France’s investment in DAB+, and the public broadcaster’s strategy in dealing with increasing competition from the big tech giants – Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple – through the lens of the Radio France CEO.
Touching on the rapid growth that DAB+ digital radio has been experiencing over the last few years, Veil underlined Radio France’s enthusiasm in regards to the growth of DAB+, highlighting that these developments are perfectly in line with the public broadcaster’s long-term plans – making live radio accessible to all people across the country in a free and anonymous way, and providing listeners with a large pool of content from which to choose from.
Radio France’s financial investment in DAB+ technology – approximately 12 million euros – is, according to Veil, merely an effort for Radio France to maintain control over its distribution networks – particularly when facing increasingly high competition from the likes of Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple who, through various algorithms, are able to guide and interfere with the listening habits of consumers.
When asked about the potential for DAB+ to successfully and permanently replace the FM band, Veil pointed to the numerous – collective and individual, national and international – initiatives that all seem to point to DAB+ not only as the successor of FM, but as the future of radio. In France, all receivers (including automotive) released as of June 2020 will be required to include DAB+, while on a pan-European level, the EECC regulation triggered in December 2018 means that by the end of 2020, across all EU member countries, all radios in new cars must be capable of receiving and reproducing digital terrestrial radio.
With all major broadcasters on board, and a number of countries already setting the trend in switching off the FM band (completed in Norway, and expected in Switzerland no later than 2024), Sibyle Veil and Radio France are looking ahead to a bright and digital future for radio, with DAB+ at the heart of it.
Sybile Veil will speak at this year’s Radiodays Europe conference in a session called ‘Visions for the future of radio – new digital listening habits’, alongside Simon Gooch, Chief Innovation Officer of Swedish Radio, at12:05 – 12:45 on Monday 1st April.