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UK company axes DAB stations, Net radio cited as factor

Posted on: 02/15/2008

From CNet UK’s Crave: British commercial radio company GCap Media has decided to axe two DAB stations — theJazz and Planet Rock — despite almost a million listeners, claiming that DAB was “not economically viable.”

Together, the two axed stations had 927,000 listeners, but FM’s retention of followers, combined with the growing popularity of Internet radio simulcasts, has hindered DAB’s growth.

Last September, the British trade body DRDB — Digital Radio Development Bureau — forecast household DAB penetration to hit 40% by 2009, and almost 60% by 2011. Perhaps with the continuing rise of Internet radio and the increasing uptake of broadband in the UK, these figures could be significantly lower than anticipated…

Our eyes will be closely following DAB’s movement in 2008. We’re not convinced that it’s about to crumble beneath our feet, but it’s certainly in for a rough ride as more content becomes on-demand — such as podcasts — and with more programs being simultaneously broadcast over the Internet.

Read the entire article at CNet UK.

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