PARIS — In the summer of 2014 digital radio made its official debut in France — specifically, Paris, Nice and Marseille. The scheduled roll-out of digital radio in that country has accelerated recently — it will be deployed next spring in Lille, Lyon and Strasbourg, and then in 30 major cities by 2020.
The small, independent broadcasters, excluded from a saturated FM band, see digital radio as a boon. Numbering several dozens, they now share the DAB muxes here and there with some national and commercial stations, like Skyrock in Nice. However, the large private groups (NRJ, RTL, Lagardère Active and NextradioTV) have thus far refrained from taking part in DAB. They believe in the radio via Internet—which is less expensive (thus more lucrative) from their point of view, according to mat blog. Public Broadcasters in France, because of budgetary restrictions, have also been slow to invest in DAB.
The listeners of Lille, Lyon and Strasbourg will however be able to listen in digital quality to FIP and Mouv 'stations, belonging to Radio France, as of next spring.
As soon as 20% of French territory is covered by digital radio (approximately 2020) manufacturers will be required to incorporate a DAB+ tuner into all their equipment sold in France. “Supply nourishing demand and vice versa, a virtuous dynamic should then be established,” according to the same blog.