Digital radio (DAB) is a concept beloved by politicians (not sure why) but still not widely adopted. The vast majority of radio listeners are in cars which still overwhelmingly have analogue receivers. People resent being forced to buy new equipment. The UK government was due to turn off the analogue radio signal completely in 2015 but this has now been postponed as too few people have taken up digital as a means of listening.
Politicians being out of touch and behind the times should come as no surprise but we think the government should pause and ask themselves a serious question: “Why do we want to impose a technology that is already obsolete on people who have no interest in it?”
More and more people have smartphones and 4G internet is becoming the norm (our own site stats show that the vast majority of people reading this post will be reading it on a phone). In addition mobile internet will only get faster.
We love an app called TuneIn which allows you to listen live to radio stations pretty much anywhere in the world with no buffering and no delay in streaming.
Are you into hiphop? You can listen to the original hiphop radio station KDAY live from Los Angeles via your phone.
Like country music? You can listen to radio stations direct from Nashville!
Found a radio station playing French jazz while you were on holiday? You can listen to that even when holed up in the UK.
Traditional Greek music, talk radio from the US, reggae from Jamaica, Brazilian funk or even that station from Newcastle that you cant pick up in London – all of that is available via your phone!
We have this technology now and it will only get better – by plugging your phone into your car stereo, launching the TuneIn app and using a cable which costs only a few quid you can listen to radio from anywhere in the world. You can even use it to listen to the same old UK stations if thats what you want. No need to upgrade your radio to DAB and no need to limit yourself to UK only radio.
We love driving around in London listening to a random radio station broadcasting live from Rio de Janeiro – freedom of choice is a wonderful thing!
You have to ask why government is relentlessly pushing DAB technology upon us. The internet and smartphones are here to stay and will only get cheaper with higher bandwidth. The government should drop this stupid policy, catch up with technology and tell the digital lobbying industry to jog on.