Digital Radio Stakeholders’ Event November 2017

My brief thoughts and notes from the Digital Radio Stakeholders’ Event

Thursday 9th November hosted by the BBC

This is the quarterly meeting about digital radio, hosted by DR UK (Digital Radio UK), we hear about how digital radio is getting on, thoughts and feelings for the future etc.

Rajar

This was lead by Yvette Dore – DRUK

This last quarter saw a large DAB increase, there was a stall with DTV and internet listening, if not it would have hit over 50% of listening, there is a prediction that within the next 2 quarters we will hit 50% of digital listening.

In the 10 – 64 demographic its already at 51.6% but the over 65’s its around 40%.

31% in car, which is a growth of 26% year on year

87.5% new cars have DAB as standard

14.1 million devices have DAB+

SSDAB

This was lead by Ian O’Neill – DCMS

We are still due a short consultation, it will be a short window (6 weeks), the consultation is still being finalised but is due  out very soon.

The current trials might need to be extended past May.

SSDAB – Panel Discussion

With representatives from 7 of the trial mux operators.

143 estimated services of SSDAB, 94+ on DAB+ and numbers of services still growing.

Discussion on the panel about thoughts going forward for SSDAB

a) lets stop calling it SSDAB (small scale) as it sounds inferior to traditional DAB. Instead lets use ‘Local DAB’  as its for local audiences and communities, as opposed to the National DAB and what is actually County / Regional traditional local DAB. – My personal take away is this is a great idea, I certainly love the idea of local DAB and will adopt it!

b) General call for not for profit ownership, single ownership. (Maybe single ownership with profit, but if a multi ownership model than must be not for profit)

c) Need equivalence of signal strength, coverage inside houses can be a little patchy, need to be able to cover entire area of town / city / area as needed.

d) good mix of commercial stations and community radio (Ofcom CR licenses and digital only not for profit stations)

e) Length of license, so mux operators can plan for sustainability they need long license, suggested 12 years like commercial operator licenses.

Do young people care about politics?

This years general election saw an increase in the youth vote, this was most evident with a large spike in young votes for the Labour party, but are young people engaged in politics.

Young voters appear to been more engaged in politics in the last few years, broadly evident with the increase of youth voters in the Brexit referendum and 2017 general election, according to research organisation Ipsos Mori the 18 – 24 voter turnout saw a raise of 16 percent from 38 percent at the 2015 general election to 54 percent in 2017, this is consistent with the 53% turnout for the EU Referendum in 2016.

The biggest swing of these 18 to 24 year old voters was towards the Labour party, which saw a 62 percent to 27 percent share with the Conservatives, Labour appealing to students in particular with their policies on University tuition fees.

But is this new direction for youth politics sustainable and do young students of Westminster feel engaged with politics?