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Bauer Moves More Stations to DAB+

Change expands over-the-air reach in autumn

Bauer Media Audio UK announced plans to add Absolute Radio Country and Absolute Classic Rock to its DAB+ offerings nationally in October. They will be the fourth and fifth Absolute Radio Network stations to be available across the U.K. via a national DAB multiplex.

“With so many digital radios now being DAB+ enabled, this simple change allows us even greater opportunity to reach more listeners, while offering them a higher quality listening experience,” stated Bauer Media Audio UK Chief of Staff Peter Davies.

With the switchoff of its 1215 kHz medium-wave service in January 2023, Absolute Radio has been only available via digital platforms. However Bauer noted that since going all-digital it has scored increasing listenership, reaching 5.4 million weekly listeners for the Absolute Radio Network in the RAJAR quarterly listening survey ending June 2023. The Absolute Radio Network encompasses nine channels: Absolute Radio, Absolute Classic Rock, and Absolute Radio Country, along with the decades-focused Absolute stations for the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, 2000s, and 2010s.

In addition, the company announced that its Magic Chilled, Magic Soul, Magic at the Musicals, Kerrang! Radio, and Heat Radio channels would also increase their coverage by broadcasting via DAB+. Finally, Absolute 80s, Absolute 90s, Mellow Magic, Planet Rock, and Scala Radio will all move to DAB+ encoding too.

“With 80% of our audiences listening on digital devices, the more services we can add to digital radio the better,” stated Davies.

All of the new DAB+ channels will be found on the Sound Digital Ltd. D2 national DAB multiplex, which is co-owned by Bauer, Arqiva, and Wireless Group Ltd. According to Arqiva, which manages the multiplex’s transmission facilities, DAB+ technology requires less bandwidth per channel compared to traditional DAB. This allows for more stations to operate on each multiplex.

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