UBC Media, a radio programming producer, is testing the first music download service for DAB radio in Birmingham.

Listeners can buy songs instantly as they listen to them on digital radio, having purchased credit in advance. Each track will cost about £1.25, which is 46 pence more than Apple currently charges for songs downloaded to iTunes.

Songs will also be downloaded to a web-based music library so that they can be transferred to other music players.

UBC also revealed that digital-radio-enabled mobiles will be rolled out later in the year from handset-makers like LG and Samsung, who expect to be part of the 500,000 such phones sold in the UK over the next year and a half.

UBC predicts that in the next 6 years, 25% of mobiles will be DAB-enabled, which offers a huge market for digital radio downloads.

Jupiter analyst Mark Mulligan told Reuters, "I don't think it's destined to be the mobile iTunes, though, because that dominance on the PC is unique".

"The mobile space has so many dynamics in the strategy chain and is balkanised by all the different operators, that the net result is there won't be a dominant model on the mobile."

UBC's trial will rollout with the Heart station in Birmingham later in July.

Via Reuters