LONDON RadioScape marked its 10th anniversary this week by hosting an event at the Getty Images Gallery in central London which included a special exhibition of images entitled ‘100 Years of Radio’ selected from the Getty archive together with demonstrations of some of the latest digital radio technology.
Guest of honour, John Whittingdale MP, Chairman of the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, praised RadioScape for the impact that the company had made on the digital radio industry in recent years and said that he was delighted to see a British company at the forefront of this exciting new technology. In particular, he highlighted the company's initiative in the development of multi-standard radio technology to address both the digital audio broadcasting (DAB) market as well as the emerging digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) markets in Europe that will bring digital radio to wider audiences. He also congratulated the Company on recognising the importance of establishing a presence in the Chinese market where almost 50 percent of the Company's workforce are now located.
The company used the event to call for closer cooperation between industry players to more aggressively address the factors that will make digital radio a 'must have' consumer item.
“Today we are not just celebrating RadioScape's 10th anniversary, but also the significant achievements the digital radio industry has made during this period.” Hall cited the emergence of DAB as a global standard with over 500 million people now within range of a DAB broadcast, and, with the prospect of many Asian countries such as China coming on line, these figures could increase sharply over the next few years, said John Hall, RadioScape's CEO.
“We can now see that DAB digital radio can truly become a mass market consumer proposition as more countries adopt the standard. In the U.K., the industry has worked hard to drive the entry level price point for digital radio down below £29 at retail, to bring over 400 DAB radio services on air and to ensure that DAB has broad population coverage at over 85%,” added Hall.
“Even with hundreds of DAB radio products now available and the strongest ever consumer awareness at over 65% of the population, DAB digital radio sales still only make up around 20% of all radios sold at retail. As an industry, we have to accept that digital radio still lacks the 'must have' factor for certain demographics, and do something about it.” In particular, Hall identified that compelling content available on DAB-only channels would now be the most significant factor in increasing audience size.
“We have virtually every form of device now equipped with a DAB receiver from mobile phones, MP3 players, and in-car audio to the more traditional portables, but this is only half the equation. The other half is content and, in particular, the more sporting events, live concerts, and popular shows that are made available only on DAB to open it up to whole new audiences, the faster this transition from analogue will be.”
Industry luminaries at the RadioScape celebration