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FM Radio Switched Off by 2015

Simon Pitt | Radio | Saturday 11th July 2009

Analogue radio will be switched off by 2015 in favour of the tautological mouthful DAB Digital Radio, according to the now famous Digital Britain Report.

DAB has come in for a lot of stick during its time. It was launched with claims of "CD quality audio", but these were soon called into doubt, and sites like Digital Radio Tech ran campaigns saying:
DAB sounds worse than FM, Internet radio & radio via digital TV
Regardless of audio quality, a change to analogue will cause quite a stir. Most people now have a digital radio, but while many people have analogue radios throughout their houses and in their cars, most households only have one digital radio. A switch will require the poor old consumer to end up buying even more hardware to carry on listening to the same programmes as always.

It's hard to see who will appreciate this change. The non-tech savvy consumer will be annoyed at having to shell out for another device that seems to do exactly the same thing, whereas audiophiles will be disappointed by the low bit rates and quality. Meanwhile, those internet competent listeners may, all too easily, move to getting all of their radio online, especially as Internet phones and mobile broadband grow in popularity.

A switch to DAB may seem like something that will re-energise radio, but may, in fact, end up having the opposite effect.


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