Radio execs to offer analogue trade-in scheme

Digital Radio UK, the organisation behind the analogue/digital radio switchover in Britain, has revealed that industry executives are considering a "scrappage scheme" for analogue radios that mirrors the Government's offer of a grant to car owners who swap their vehicle for a less polluting one.

The scheme would offer a 20% discount on a DAB set if you brought in an analogue model - 50 million of which are apparently still being used across Britain. The idea is that there'll be greater penetration for DAB - which is currently suffering with relatively low listener numbers. The organisation said: "It is something we are looking at we want to do".

Unlike the digital television switchover, the push towards digital radio has met with slow progress. Just over 20% of all listening is via digital, and the government has said that it wants that figure to be 50% before even starting the switchover process - which is currently targeted at 2015 - a date that few expect it to meet.

DAB also has to compete with web-based radio stations like Last.fm which offer a station personalised to your listening taste. Many younger listeners opt for this solution, abandoning the old-fashioned "broadcast" model entirely for a "narrowcast" option instead.

Meanwhile, there are relatively few DAB-only stations. Many options on the network are just regionalised versions of stations being made accessible nationally. Only the BBC has really funnelled much investment into its Digital Radio output, offering just four stations that aren't available on analogue frequencies, one of which doesn't run all the time.

Would you trade in an old FM radio for 20% discount on a DAB if offered? Or do you not see any benefits to DAB? Let us know in the comments.

 



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