Worldwide, over half a billion people can now receive over a thousand different digital radio services. Commercial digital receivers are now commonplace with hundreds of different models available from €30 and upwards.
Digital radio has developed significantly over the past ten years across the main EU Member States. It is widely available in Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Norway, Denmark and the United Kingdom. The main drivers of digital radio in the coming year or two will be Ireland, Australia, Germany and the United States.
Australia have adopted the DAB+ system of digital broadcasting and is growing quickly after a successful launch in all major cities in 2009. Germany, an early adopter of digital radio, relaunched with DAB+ in 2010. As the largest radio market and based in the very heart of Europe it’s success will spread rapidly.
Meanwhile American broadcasters have opted for a digital broadcast system called HD and new digital stations are being launched almost weekly.
Some countries have even begun a process to turn-off of FM. In Norway, the regulator announced a conversion to DAB only by 2019 at the latest. The UK regulator will consider the same question when digital radios share of listening reaches 50%.