Westminster, UK - Mar 12, 2014 - The Westminster Forum on the future of the UK radio industry took place in mid-March 2014. The focus was on DAB, and both proponents and opponents had their say, according to RadioToday.
Bauer Media's Steve Parkinson is a proponent of the platform, saying it allows much more choice and is free at the point of delivery. Another proponent, Digital Radio UK's Ford Ennals, says radio should be united for a digital future, with more choice and national and local coverage build-out. "The future for radio is digital but it is also collaborative. Big and small, local and national working together to ensure radio does remain competitive and relevant in a multiplatform digital age," Ford said.
Phil Riley, the founder of UK commercial radio group Orion Media, is an opponent of the complete switchover to DAB in the UK, and said a radical new approach should be adopted embracing a "multi-platform world" in which FM/AM and DAB operate side by side for at least the next decade. He called on the government to further delay what he called a "flawed" switchover policy. Furthermore, he said the radio industry should stop planning for the switchover any time soon; that they should get on with running their businesses in the most sensible way for them; and that the government should end regulatory uncertainty by agreeing to keep FM transmission for the foreseeable future.
"When consumers simply expect content to be delivered whenever, wherever, in the most convenient manner possible, why have we in radio come to the conclusion that we can simply impose a diminution of platform availability on people, simply because it's currently costing us more money. I'm not sure it's a defendable position," said Riley.
James Cridland spoke at the forum and promoted the use of RadioDNS. "We need to work together as broadcasters to ensure that radio's future on mobile phones isn't just a battery-hungry, data-hungry streaming app. That means working together to get broadcast radio into mobile phones - with technical solutions to make radio look better, by using the broadcast chip alongside the Internet to deliver a great radio experience."