Yes I agree totally. In my more cynical moments I sometimes think the big operators want it to fail. At best they have no interest in it succeeding. If that’s true then it’s incredibly short sighted - DAB is the only real hope for the survival of terrestrial radio as we know it. It’s the only platform that could potentially provide the variety of formats required to compete with streaming and internet stations.
I think the operators think their future is their own internet delivery channels like iHeart for example. I think they’re wrong. They don’t understand the internet. If they encourage/force people to listen to radio via the internet they are signing their own death warrant as once this happens they’ll expose their audience to infinitely greater choice, and quality of options. Their audience will disperse.
SCA and ARN want us listening through their apps, so they can collect analytics, personal data and personalise ads to their audience. But if I’m going to listen to something online, I’m going to listen to Apple Music, Spotify or a premium radio service like Digitally Imported, not local automated repetitive shit. If I’m going online, you’ve lost the war for my ears. In car streaming is easier than ever, and will get even easier with connected cars so you won’t even need a phone anymore as the car has its own Internet connection.
DAB and Digital Radio needs a big rebrand and marketing push. They need to stop calling it Digital Radio; in my experience people think it’s streaming off their phone data.
Call it DAB. You can then have AM radio, FM radio and DAB radio. All the menus in cars refer to it as DAB. Embrace that. People don’t know what Digital Radio is.
Dump the simulcasts of FM stations. Get the AM stations to promote the shit out of it for their main stations. ‘On DAB and AM, this is 6iX’ for example. Get the FM operators to sit down, find the gaps in the market, what the market wants, then tailor their stations to fit. No rock station in Perth? SCA has experience with rock over East, SCA provides a rock station. Urban? ARN has a successful urban station in Sydney, ARN provides an urban station outside Sydney. Smooth FM is going gangbusters in Sydney and Melbourne, Nova can provide that to Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Sydney wants a golden oldies station? 2CH is close, let’s get them to go even older for their digital station.
And don’t go overboard with too many stations; 80kbps MINIMUM for music, 32kbps for talk.
These days it’s the radio app ad. Yeah unfortunately I think the sentiments mentioned above are right. It has an am stereo feel about it but it lasted longer. 20 years I give dab to last before it shutsdown. Hopefully this forum will still be around to discuss. Maybe in history thread? AM/FM radio I think will out live dab. Though at times I feel will am radio make it past 20 years?
There were ads leading up to Christmas with the cash back offer for Pure DAB+ radios at certain stores.
I should add that Pure radios have subsequently been on special until the end of January. The price I bought a Pure Siesta at D̶a̶v̶i̶d̶ ̶J̶o̶n̶e̶s̶ Myer for my friend’s birthday was cheaper than it would have been if I had bought it in December as part of the cash back offer.
Especially when a lot of (but not all, to be fair) stations the solus regional markets are planning to convert their signals to FM.
AM radio is doing a little better in metropolitan markets but electrical interference is more of a problem than it used to be plus there’s the fact that in most places, there’s only really two strong AM stations in terms of ratings/performance. I can see a point in the not overly distant future where major AM stations will express a desire to be on FM (the ABC has already thought about the idea of replacing Classic FM with Local Radio on FM, if I’m not mistaken), even if that means having to expand the FM band.
I agree that DAB+ will be lucky to last 20 years, although at times I wonder if the same can be said about terrestrial radio and television overall…
Here in Sydney, I think a couple of the metro-wide community stations may transmit from Artarmon or Gore Hill but not all. Either way, the power/transmission would most likely be different to that of the major commercial/public stations.
You’re speaking my language. I agree 100% with everything you said here! Everything.
Especially “if I’m going online you’ve lost the battle for my ears”. That’s exactly how I feel.
As it is I’m hanging in with Australian radio ONLY because of DAB in the car. If that folds I will be streaming or listening to the best stations the world has to offer, not SCA rubbish that’s for sure.
Not having FM stations simulcast would give the game away as to the potential for DAB as a replacement technology. The whole idea is that somehow this is an analogue to digital transition just like TV - as the justification for getting the spectrum allocated in the first place.
The goal was the spectrum grab, not the content itself.
Ideally the solution is cities get assigned additional FM frequencies for new commercial operators in all markets, and that pushes Adelaide and Perth over to a second multiplex and then they can spread out and increase bits.
And I was very disappointing that during the big bushfires we have down here in Tasmania, the ABC haven’t done anything to promote their DAB+ service! It would be a great way to get people on DAB, as I’ve heard of heaps of people going out and getting new radios to listen to the ABC emergency info.
The DAB+ signal also fills in a lot of the AM black spots.
Very good points. Although, I don’t think the FM simulcasts should be dumped. They should just get less priority over the digital only stations (for the time being). Drop their bitrate. If we want people to move to DAB+, we need to only add to the current selection, not reduce.
I think radio manufactures to look at combing the FM and DAB+ stations into one list.
Ok, maybe keep the current FM/DAB+ selector, but maybe just have a default “radio” list, that has the DAB+ and the FM-RDS stations combined (Frontier Silicon and car manufacturers, take notice!).
The standards for RDS and DAB+ should be modified to allow for universal (worldwide) unique station identification, and for time codes to be introduced into the bitstream of DAB+ and RDS, so that the receiver can, when say, be selected on 2Day FM DAB+, and automatically flick to 104.1 FM when the DAB+ signal drops out or visa-versa, with the delay managed in the receiver automatically so that the listener doesn’t notice the switchover.