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UK Minister calls for all new radios to be digital by default

Matt Hancock, the UK’s Minister of State for Digital, called for shifts in radio production to make all new devices digital by default. He spoke via video interview during the Drive to Digital 2017 radio industry conference, encouraging preparation for a possible future transition to digital broadcasting. Hancock said that the UK government supported the digital by default approach. Nine out of 10 new cars have digital radios as standard, and he said it would be “unambiguously a good move to see that replicated across different areas of radio production.”

Digital radio listening is nearing closer to half of the UK’s overall radio consumption. The Q2 2017 RAJAR data clocked digital listening at 48.7%. Hancock confirmed in his talk that the government will consider making a digital switchover timeline once that figure reaches a full half. Norway recently became the first country to make a transition to digital-only broadcasting; the current adoption rates in the UK make it a contender to be the second.

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Anna Washenko

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