Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Digital radio rocked ?

It has not been a good few days for digital radio. Virgin Radio is closing one of its digital stations, Virgin Radio Groove, and is not even going to bother launching Virgin Radio Viva, planned for the new Channel 4 DAB radio platform, while UBC Media has written off its 49% investment in digital speech station Oneword. What next?

Channel 4 put a brave face on the loss of Viva, saying it had signed "nearly all its long-term carriage agreements" and had secured agreements with nine podcast partners.

But it will inevitably be disappointed to lose the Virgin station - aimed at 15 to 29-year-old women - coming a month after Charles Allen's Global Radio pulled out of its joint venture with Sky to launch Sky News Radio, also due to launch on the Channel 4 platform.

Digital radio hasn't lost its appeal among listeners - 28.4% of the population listened via DAB radio, digital TV and the web in the third quarter of this year, according to the latest Rajar figures, and there are DAB sets in around 6 million homes.
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