Is the BBC misleading DAB consumers?
30th Jan 2009 | 14:46
Digital radio expert certainly seems to think so
The BBC has been accused of misleading consumers about DAB, DAB+ and internet radio technology by Steve Green of digitalradiotech.co.uk.
In a recent TechRadar interview, digital radio expert Steve Green argues that DAB supporters such as Pure Digital and the BBC face a conundrum, "because, for the last few years, they've mainly been promoting DAB on the basis that it provides greater choice.
"But a typical DAB listener can only receive around 35 stations (people in London receive more stations, people out in the sticks usually receive less), whereas there are 10,000 plus internet radio stations, and thousands of on-demand streams, such as the radio programmes on the BBC iPlayer and podcasts. There's no contest: internet radio wins hands down on choice."
BBC guilty of protectionism
So why is the BBC still so keen to promote DAB over internet radio?
"It's all down to protectionism," Green argues, " the broadcasters would like everyone to listen to digital radio via DAB, because DAB offers the least amount of choice, so their stations will face the least amount of competition, and they think this will lead to them losing fewer listeners than if a lot of people begin listening via the internet.
"And the big receiver manufacturers have the UK DAB market all sewn up, so they'd very much like the status quo to continue as well."
Internet radio: the losers
"The losers, as ever, will be the consumers. In my opinion, if the BBC provided the public with impartial advice about what both DAB and internet radio have to offer, I think internet radio would end up becoming the biggest digital radio platform by the time FM is switched off..
"Over the last year, people have shown that they love the BBC iPlayer, and I just think the internet is the way most people would go given all the facts."
Green also thinks that it is 'scandalous' the BBC " has acted against the interests of the general public... purely to serve the BBC's own self-interests."