Magazine article Marketing

OPINION: If Digital Radio Doesn't Take off Soon, Try Throwing in the Towel

Magazine article Marketing

OPINION: If Digital Radio Doesn't Take off Soon, Try Throwing in the Towel

Article excerpt

We are about to find out the truth about digital radio at long last, and it won't take very long. By the autumn - certainly by Christmas - it should be possible to know whether a market exists for this product.

By the end of this month the first digital radios at pounds 99.99 go on sale.

We have some indications that digital radios will sell at pounds 99.99. When heavily subsidised prototypes were put on sale at pounds 99.99 as part of a marketing campaign they were snapped up within hours.

We will now get some idea about the depth of demand for the unsubsidised product.

For years radio has been the digital technology that didn't happen as a consumer product. There were prototypes and expensive tuners, but no sign at all of a bog-standard radio that just happened to be digital.

But the radio industry was never prepared to take a chance without evidence of demand.

Even now there may still only be 30,000 digital receivers in the country despite the millions spent on new services and transmitters.

There have been digital evangelists, but just as many cynics more interested in digital as a device to get a renewed licence than putting real investment behind the technology.

One hope was the agreement by Ford that it would install digital radios in its UK cars from 2004. There were, of course, conditions - mainly that there should be evidence of market demand.

As of now, Ford says the conditions have not been met and that it has no plans to install digital radios by 2004. …

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