DAB+ and SmartRadio: Frontier sees big changes in the radio market
Off the back of increased radio listening, discovered during research commissioned by Frontier Smart Technologies and a 40% growth in SmartRadio shipments in 2020, Frontier Smart Technologies has released a new white paper that explores the impact digitisation is having on the radio listening experience, following consumer research which revealed the changing habits of British audiences during Covid-19.
As a market leading provider of DAB+ and SmartRadio solutions, Frontier is already familiar with the continued popularity of radio around the world but wanted to investigate the impact the pandemic was having. We commissioned a survey that asked 1,096 people about their listening habits between March 24 and May 11 2020, the period covering the first ‘lockdown’ in the UK.
The research, conducted in October 2020, revealed that 81% of respondents had tuned in to radio, with a quarter (27%) reporting this was an increase on their normal routine. Radio’s importance as a dedicated listening device was also revealed, with a significant number of people (40%) reporting that a standalone radio was their main source of audio entertainment, compared to their mobile phone (19%), Smart Speaker (18%), Laptop/PC (8%), Tablet (5%), CD/Record player (4%) or ‘Other’ (6%).
DAB provides a variety of benefits for listeners, broadcasters and even policy makers, compared to traditional AM/FM analogue signals, including:
- Higher quality transmissions
- Greater content choice and geographical coverage
- Colour screens, which make DAB radios more appealing than traditional devices
- Enhanced data services, providing slideshows and album art for colour displays
- Lower carbon emissions for broadcast
- Stimulation of innovation and competition
Frontier offers class-leading DAB+ solutions with our Siena and Siena Pro platforms, designed to help device manufacturers and brands take advantage of these benefits.
Our Venice X chipset has also been making waves in the SmartRadio sector and is the most integrated solution on the market when it comes to digital radio. SmartRadio is a relatively new and growing product category that’s revolutionising the world of digital radio, in the same way Smart TVs have the TV sector, by introducing the benefits of internet connectivity to the FM and DAB+ radio listening experience – including Internet Radio, podcast and catch-up services, on-demand music, a colour user interface and an accompanying control app.
Speaking about the paper, Prem Rajalingham, Managing Director at Frontier said: “We believe industry needs to shift to DAB+ to take advantage of the benefits, and sales opportunities it affords, in order to secure the future of radio. We also predict that SmartRadio will form a big part of the continuing evolution of the format, offering a hybrid broadcast and IP experience for listeners. Frontier itself has enjoyed a 40% increase in sales of SmartRadio solutions in 2020 and we expect this trend to continue in 2021 – and beyond.”
The white paper can be downloaded from the Frontier Smart Technologies’ website here.