Confidence trick 

17 February 2009 tbs.pm/1023

Commercial radio could launch new digital stations if regulation is eased

So what has the RadioCentre got up its sleeve to save DAB from the jaws of possible obsolescence/apathy caused by expensive transmission charges and rampant short-term thinking within the radio industry? Well it seems that barring any major changes elsewhere, the best that they can come up with is this new proposal.

In short, the industry might provide two new stations which may or may not be worth listening to – and are bound to have miniscule audiences to begin with (Virgin Radio initially shed a fair proportion of its listeners when it was forced to rebrand as Absolute, for one thing) – in exchange for a relaxation of regulations.

Bear in mind that DAB has lost a lot of stations over the last three or so years, including three national music stations (not that they were really worth listening to, mind) and a speech-based station (anyone remember Oneword?), so the proposal for two more stations is essentially one step forward after taking two steps backwards.

Even Ofcom refused to relax regulations further in relation to local content on (ahem) local radio stations when pressured to do so previously, saying that their inherent ‘localness’ is still valued by a fair percentage of listeners. So what the industry is now proposing is to make a cross proportion of stations even less attractive in exchange for…well…not a lot.

Words fail me.

A Transdiffusion Presentation

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David Hastings Contact More by me