Digital Radio


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.


Absolutely agree.

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.


On Sydney DAB, it correctly appears as MMM AUSSIE
(though the genre comes up as ‘Country Music’… ??)

Given that in Melbourne SCA are likely on the same mux as Pacific Star’s Aussie was, could this be an issue related to that? Probably not, but just a thought.


There’s MMM AUSSIE as well - they’ve just added a duplicate of it just called ‘Aussie’, seemingly to get people who are looking for the old station.


How has the “Digital Radio Plus” campaign been going recently? I remember the ads airing reasonably often during the first few years of DAB+ transmissions but not really since about 2012 or 2013.

Overall I agree that the broadcasters (especially AM stations) should be doing more to promote DAB+ but at the same time, they still need to have online streaming/apps.

As far as commercial/public stations go, I completely agree.

I think the metro-wide community stations (even if most are on FM) need to be on DAB+ for full coverage though.

From a Sydney perspective, 2CH seems to be the only AM station doing a half-decent job of promoting their DAB+ service.

I personally think the DAB+ audio streams of talk stations (at least in the markets with two commercial/community multiplexes) should be at 64kbps at the absolute minimum.


Well Lets Pray Nova Entertainment can Launch an Alternative Rock Station just like ALT in the US.


S o The 80’s The 90’s MMM Aussie and MMM Country are in Perth for the First Time?


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.

Edited, after my memory was refreshed. :smiley:


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…


I love suburban community radio but will it survive also? Or will it make way to convert the am stations to fm. They may need to restock the fm band.

I don’t want it to happen. So in 20 years just fm radio and online. No am radio or dab.


The 90’s, MMM Aussie and MMM Country are new to Perth. We had The 80’s before ELF Radio came online. When ELF closed, it was replaced with The 90’s.

I haven’t heard a RadioApp ad for ages; SCA would rather you used their apps, and ARN would rather you used iHeartRadio.

Smart speakers (Alexa, Google Home, HomePod, Sonos) are getting a real good run in terms of station promos.

Haven’t anything for years myself, but I don’t watch much commercial FTA TV or listen to AM/FM stations.

Don’t they have the same power and transmission as the commercial FM’s? Can’t say I’ve ever heard of reception issues with RTR or Sonshine.


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.


Definitely more FM frequencies are required, whatever they need to do to achieve this. Especially Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.



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.


I agree, I would rather see the main FM stations remain on DAB.

To me, having the main stations on FM only and not DAB is a bit like launching digital TV but only having the secondary channels on it…


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.


They play it a lot on macq and 2ch.