I suppose I've had a DAB radio (three within the household now) for at least five or so years for most of this time the selection of services has been pretty static with BBC and established names making up the bulk of the channels many being duplicates of existing FM and AM channels.
|One of my DAB radios|
Well flicking through this morning I was surprised to see that with very little fanfare there's now a diverse mix of new entrants (in London) from specialist music to radio that supports niche communities from IBC Tamil (who I was involved with when I was at BT Media services) to Matroshka Radio a Russian language channel for Ex-pats living in the capital and Radio Sputnik a re-badged .
[this is probably telling us rather a lot about London's diversity]
Many of the new services are part of new national mux's and presumably part of the reason for the rise of the new channels is the change in the economics of the business- but regulatory issues of course remain and to be able to be sure of the impartiality of material that non English speaking channels is even more of a challenge for OFCOM.
Another factor in the DAB expansion is how little significance the extra services are having the new radios are generally just a replacement rather than offering an exciting multi media future - the mechanisms for tuning in fact perhaps limiting diversity rather than extending it.
Without leadership from the BBC there's a real danger that DAB will not realise the full potential, perhaps there's company out there working on a killer radio that will be available at the right price point in the not too distant future that will move the sector on.
Cars and brakes very much on my mind today
|If it's red and you're in the car behind -stop|