Industry and government officials still optimistic that the UK might reach key benchmarks that would prompt a switch-off of national analog FM channels by 2015 may have to reconsider their timetable, says an article in the Guardian UK.
According to the latest numbers issued by the Radio Joint Audience Research (RAJAR) digital listening overall increased just two-tenths of one percent in Britain from Q2 to Q3 2010, but DAB listening actually decreased one-half percent during the same period, going from 15.8 percent to 15.3 percent. While year-over-year comparisons are still up significantly, some DAB critics are quick to claim the figures support a flattening of the adoption curve that will forestall any analog sunset to at least 2020.
The Guardian article also quoted a statement from Digital Radio UK, a private industry group charged with advancing the DAB transition, as suggesting that new DAB-only channel additions coming on line late in Q3 would push growth figures into positive territory by the end of the year.
Perhaps counter intuitively, the RAJAR figures also suggest that radio's combined digital and analog reach are at their highest levels ever in the UK.