Monday, October 11, 2004

Resource update - DAB in the UK

Last Wednesday, while I was flat on my back with a mouth full of painkillers, the Digital Radio Development Bureau of the UK issued a digital audio broadcasting (DAB) market forecast update to 2008 (press release - there is a more detailed .pdf version which I received direct from GWR Group, but I haven't been able to locate a version online). The industry is looking for a significant ramp-up in receiver shipments, from a projected 1m cumulative by year-end 2004, to 4.5m by year-end 2006, and on to 13m by 2008. On an annual basis, that equates to sales of 750k units in 2004, 2m in 2006, and over 5m in 2008, for an annual market value of GBP500m by that year.

Clearly, the $500m deal last week between Howard Stern and Sirius in the US has rung some alarm bells about the disruptive potential of alternative digital broadcasting platforms, and the UK may prove to be another case in point, if from a different angle. And, we're not just talking "radio" here. The DAB infrastructure holds latent capacity for other, quasi-telecom services, as in this case ( It's going to be intriguing to see how this platform develops, and what sort of challenges/opportunities it throws up to more mainstream service offerings.

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