Feeds

Radio lobby 'hides' 2m analogue receiver sales

Mysterious boost for DAB

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Maybe the Great Digital Switchover won't be so difficult, after all. The UK's digital radio lobby group has redefined what an analogue radio is, giving DAB a stunning boost in market share.

You'll recall that in the Digital Britain report last summer, Lord Carter recommended that when digital listening (mostly on DAB radios) reached 50 per cent, broadcasters should set a date for switching off analogue. The 50 per cent figure wasn't the only criterion, but it was the foremost.

There was a problem. Throughout 2008, DAB's share of new receiver sales remained stubbornly stuck at 20 and 21 per cent of the market. Yet in the most recent figures for Q4 2009, conducted by market researcher GfK Retail & Technology, it had leapt to 28 per cent. Radio analyst Grant Goddard unearthed the reason why.

GfK says it's stopped counting sales of analogue radios embedded in MP3 players and some music phones, as well as set top boxes.

Now with FM: Apple's iPod nano

Gfk defines a "portable media player" as any portable music device that plays music and has a 3.5mm headphone jack. That definition increasingly includes a lot of phones - the leader by volume in Q1 was a Nokia touchscreen phone, for example. Since last Autumn, the category has included Apple's iPod nano. But although these are analogue radio receivers, they don't count.

Around two million sales of real (not phantom) analogue radios have been 'lost' by the creative accounting polling.

Writes Goddard:

It seems that the last resort for Digital Radio UK to be able to demonstrate to a sceptical public (and increasingly sceptical members of the House of Lords) that DAB radio is ‘taking off’ with consumers is to fix the figures to make it look that way. If you cannot convince the public to stop buying analogue radios, you can ‘bend’ the figures to magically make it appear that the public is buying fewer analogue radios.

He recently found that Digital Radio UK had been tinkering with the way it presents the raw data it sources from GfK. When claiming that 75 per cent of new radio sales are DAB, they excluded everything that wasn't a kitchen radio. FM radios fitted in cars, ghetto blasters and so on were conveniently forgotten.

More on the Digital Switchover shortly. M'Lordships have backed an analogue scrappage scheme, so hold on to your trannies. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.