London - Jul 9, 2013 - At a Go Digital reception in the House of Commons, UK Minister Ed Vaizey confirmed that the Government Digital Radio Action Plan has now been completed, and that significant progress had been made in the transition to digital radio in the UK. The minister confirmed that the government will announce its decision on a future radio switchover at the end of 2013. In his comments, the minister hailed the excellent progress in digital radio listening, with 34.3 percent of all radio listening hours now on digital platforms, and 50 percent of the UK now listening to radio on a digital platform each week. The minister also said that the results of a government consumer switchover trial in Bath showed consumers are very satisfied with digital radio, that four in five (80 percent) prefer it to analog radio, and that 9 in 10 would recommend it to friends and family.
Helen Boaden, director of BBC Radio, said the BBC was continuing to invest in digital content and the expansion of DAB digital radio coverage. She welcomed the government commitment to a decision on radio switchover this year and said that this would provide welcome certainty for the industry.
Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, highlighted the importance of radio listening in cars and announced that nearly 40 percent of new cars in the UK now come with digital radio as standard [CAP/SMMT June 2013: 39.4 percent], which compares with 25.1 percent in June 2012, and just 12.1 percent in June 2011.