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Automotive industry embraces DAB+ radio

Escrito por Redacción TNI el 04/07/2017 a las 19:44:34

In Munich at the 2017 WorldDAB Automotive event, speakers from automotive manufacturers, regulators and the broadcast industry have gathered to discuss the growing adoption of DAB radio in the car.

The event also saw the results from research WorldDAB and its members have undertaken into the digital radio user experience in cars, a first of its kind study.

The adoption of DAB radio in cars

In 2016, 4.6 million new cars were sold with DAB across Germany, France, the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland Denmark and Australia – up nearly 40% on 2015.

In Norway 98% of new cars are fitted with DAB as standard, with the UK at 87% and Switzerland at 66% all three markets are leading the push for drivers to go digital. In the second wave of European markets, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, DAB is fitted as standard in a growing number of vehicles.


“With Norway in the process of switching off national FM services and Switzerland starting its Digital Switchover in 2020, it’s more important than ever for the automotive industry to fully embrace DAB radio,” said Patrick Hannon, President, WorldDAB. “Our message to the automotive industry today is that all cars should have both FM and digital radio capabilities, delivering the best experience for drivers across the continent.”  

Across Europe there is a growing recognition by national and European policymakers, media regulators and public and commercial broadcasters that DAB digital radio is the future core platform for radio.

Speaking on behalf of the European Digital Radio Association, Helwin Lesch, EDRA Board Member said: “Drivers should be able to listen to their favourite stations on the move and across borders. Our members represent over 300 stations that reach more than 130 million people each day and it’s clear that DAB digital radio is the core future platform for radio. Our members and the automotive industry continue to work together on delivering the best possible experience to drivers across Europe. As DAB becomes the natural choice for consumers we want Europe to embrace it and manufacturers to offer DAB alongside FM in sets and vehicles, just as they did for AM and FM, and at a price which is attractive to the consumer."


German highlights

The event saw a particular focus on developments in Germany.  Population coverage has now hit 96% and in February 2017, Dorothee Bär, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Transport and Digital Infrastructure, published the Digital Radio Action Plan. There will now be a series of discussions with the individual states (Länder), led by Rhineland-Palatinate (Heike Raab) and the BMVI (Dorothee Bär). A second national commercial multiplex has just been awarded and a major DAB+ marketing campaign from ARD and Deutschlandradio is running across the country.


Siegfried Schneider, President of the Landesmedienanstalten (DLM), the ‘Director's Conference of the German Media Authorities’ said: “In my opinion, DAB+ is an absolute must, for private broadcasters as well as public. German car manufacturers should take this on board and offer DAB+ radios as a standard feature in their cars.”  


Nathalie Wappler Hagen, Chair of the ARD Radio Committee said: “It is an exciting time for digital radio in Germany, one which brings many new opportunities for broadcasters. ARD is working closely with industry partners in Germany as part of the significant DAB+ marketing campaign and an essential part of digital radio’s successful rollout will be in ensuring both new and existing cars have DAB fitted.”

Other speakers included Audi,BBC, BMW, Clarion and the EBU, with presentations available via WorldDAB following the event.


User experience research

During the event, new research into the user experience of in-car digital radio was announced by the WorldDAB Automotive User Experience Group. The research asked consumers how easy it is to find and start the DAB radio and search for stations, along with their understanding of DAB terminology and services.