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Sound Digital outlines what listeners will gain on DAB if it wins 'Digital 2' licence

Following the deadline for applications for the second national commercial DAB multiplex, Sound Digital, a joint venture company formed by Arqiva, Bauer Media and UTV last year have issued a detailed statement indicating what listeners would be able to tune in to on DAB if it secures the licence for "Digital 2" from Ofcom.

In the statement, Sound Digital says that its goal is "to play a leading role in the development of digital radio.  This will be driven by the unprecedented strength of the digital-only brands broadcast on its network, its strategy for promoting digital take-up and the financial security provided by its shareholders’ firm commitments to the company.

"Sound Digital’s line-up comprises popular, well-loved brands which will be entirely or predominantly exclusive to digital radio:"

Sound Digital
Arqiva | Bauer | UTV
Proposed stations
New speech station
New extension to TalkSPORT
New business news station
Virgin Radio
Magic Mellow
New offshoot from Magic
Transferred from some local DAB multiplexes.
Heat Radio*
Transferred from some local DAB multiplexes.
Jazz FM*
A return to national DAB as the “non-mainstream” music station
UCB Inspirational
Transferred from Digital 1.
Premier Radio
Transferred from Digital 1.
Abs Radio 80
Transferred from Digital 1.
Sunrise Radio*
Transferred from some local DAB multiplexes.
British Muslim Radio
New national service
Planet Rock
Transferred from Digital 1.
DAB+ channel
Details to be confirmed.

* The service provider operates these stations on a number of local DAB multiplexes.

Sound Digital cites independent research by YouGov with over 4,000 adults showing "very strong collective appeal for Sound Digital’s stations, with 79% saying that they would listen to at least one of the stations."

Each of Sound Digital’s 15 services is fully committed under binding commitments made by the shareholders and by third party content providers, providing certainty to Ofcom that Sound Digital will deliver on its licence application proposals.

Sound Digital plans to launch a multiplex that will reach 46 million people in the UK and an estimated 88% of vehicles on the move.

If awarded the UK’s second national DAB multiplex licence by Ofcom, Sound Digital will launch its network within 12 months.

Further details of the application are expected to be published on the Ofcom website shortly.

Comments from the shareholders of Sound Digital:
Steve Holebrook, Arqiva Managing Director of Terrestrial Broadcast, said:“Sound Digital’s goal is to play a leading role in the development of digital radio.  Our application pools our collective experience, expertise and financial backing to provide certainty that Sound Digital will deliver on its commitment to build and launch a new national digital radio network within 12 months of Ofcom’s decision, and to maintain the network for the full 12 year licence term.” 

Dee Ford, Group Managing Director Radio, Bauer Media, said:“Sound Digital’s proposals are fantastic news for radio listeners, with an unprecedented expansion of choice in speech and music radio content. As well as providing expansion opportunities for existing successful digital broadcasters like Bauer, our network’s cost-effectiveness and open and accessible approach ensure that Sound Digital caters to the full range of digital radio content providers.” 

Scott Taunton, Chief Operating Officer, UTV Media plc, said “Sound Digital’s plans combine popular, well-loved brands such as the return of Virgin Radio with unique content including three brand new speech radio stations. The result will be a major increase in choice for audiences that already have digital radio, and a surge in take-up from those that don’t. This is fantastic news not just for listeners but for the wider radio industry.”

Digital 2

Further coverage of plans to launch a second national commercial DAB digital radio multiplex.


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