Feeds

GCap reaches for DAB off switch

Cans digital-only radio format

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

GCap Media said it will axe the home of Planet Rock and theJazz because the Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) platform has not been a money spinner for the firm.

The UK's largest commercial radio broadcaster will close the doors on Digital One's remaining stations and sell its assets to its partner Arquiva, which will take GCap's 63 per cent stake for just £1, according to the Financial Times.

GCap, which is currently caught up in a hostile £313m takeover bid from Global Radio, is backing away from the digital platform as it attempts to cut costs by some £4.7m. Instead, it said it plans to concentrate on FM and broadband-based radio.

GCap's newly-appointed boss Fru Hazlitt said in a presentation (pdf) that listeners were not voting with their ears when it comes to the take-up of digital-only radio stations. She quoted industry number cruncher Rajar saying that DAB accounts for only nine per cent of radio listening, while digital-only stations reel in less than four per cent of UK radio fans.

She added that Planet Rock and theJazz had pulled in combined "net benefit" worth a measly £0.7m over the past year.

Hazlitt, who was previously managing director of Yahoo!'s UK and Ireland operations, perhaps unsurprisingly came out in favour of web-based radio as the format worthy of greater investment in the short-term.

GCap said it will put a further £0.8m capitial expenditure into the pot to work on various technologies, which includes the likes of its newly developed Apple iTouch streamed-radio application.

Underlining its retreat from DAB in favour of internet radio, GCap said that its biggest brand – London-based Capital 95.8 radio – had seen a 30 per cent increase in page impressions on its website over the past 12 months, it also claimed that unique users were up some 38 per cent.

Hazlitt is targeting an increase in operating profit margins from seven per cent to 12 to 14 per cent in the year to March 2009. She said in a statement: "Capital 95.8 will have a new flexible inventory policy with up to nine minutes of advertising per hour and we plan to dispose of our interest in Digital One, reflecting our view that DAB is not an economically viable platform for the company."

Just last month the independent commission in Germany, which was the first European country to experiment with digital radio, said it was canning the DAB format, admitting that the technology has never really caught on. ®

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.