Digital radio launched in France on June 20, 2014, joining the United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark and Switzerland, where the standard is well-established, according to WorldDMB.
Germany launched DAB+ in 2011 with the Netherlands following in 2013. Italy, yet to launch officially, has transmitters covering 70 percent of the population. Poland went on air in two cities in October 2013.
“This is the opportunity for France to join other European markets in embracing digital radio — to help develop the long term strategic positioning of the medium, both within in its own borders and across the continent,” said Patrick Hannon, president of WorldDMB.
The four most developed markets in Europe are the U.K., Norway, Denmark and Switzerland. In the last three years, says the organization, receiver sales have grown by nearly 30 percent, from 2.1 million in 2010 to 2.7 million in 2013. Growth is being driven by the inclusion of digital radio as standard in new cars.
The European Broadcast Union, of which Radio France is a member, is actively promoting the adoption of digital radio and is calling for a harmonized approach. Its core recommendation is that digital broadcast should be the core distribution platform for radio.
France has a key role to play in supporting radio’s position as a medium for the 21st century, says WorldDMB. “To maximize the potential of this opportunity, key markets need to move together,” it said.