Magazine article Marketing

OPINION: Digital Radio and Free-to-Air TV Promise a Good First Christmas

Magazine article Marketing

OPINION: Digital Radio and Free-to-Air TV Promise a Good First Christmas

Article excerpt

For many people this could be their first digital Christmas and for most the cost of going digital comes in at a very reasonable pounds 99.99.

Santa, as long as he has got good sources of supply, should be delivering sacks full of digital radios and digital terrestrial adapters. Finally, after what seems an eternity, the radio industry has got its act together - well almost.

Not only are there new services aplenty, but for the first time there is affordable equipment to listen to them on. There is little doubt that pounds 99.99 is a price point where digital radio should start to take off in a way that pounds 200 to pounds 300 was not.

The good news is that as soon as the radios arrive they disappear off the shelves 'without touching the sides'. The bad news is that development delays, compounded by manufacturers underestimating likely demand, will mean many customers cannot be satisfied in time for Christmas.

Some large store groups are talking about waiting lists 2000-strong, with little likelihood of new supplies before February. Enthusiasts such as GWR's Ralph Bernard would obviously rather have unmet demand than no demand at all, although now the marketing of digital will have to start again next year.

At least as many as 50,000 new homes should be able to appreciate the quality of digital radio between now and the end of the year. That is real progress for a technology that once seemed extinct from birth.

Continuing marketing will obviously help, but the biggest factor could be word of mouth. …

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