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Marius Lillelien, Head of Radio, NRK, Norway

Digital radio moves forward on four wheels

 What is the state of play with digital radio across Europe? The United Kingdom, Germany and Norway offer their own stories.

United Kingdom
The UK is ahead of the pack when it comes to digital radio. 33 per cent of radio listening is to a digital platform, up 14 per cent annually. There is 94 per cent DAB coverage, with further plans to close the gap on analogue at 97 per cent. 
The UK broadcast industry has launched a £10 million communication campaign on national TV and radio, using the UK digital radio mascot, "D Love", who had the Radiodays crowd laughing and clapping. 
33 per cent of new vehicles have digital radio as standard and by the end of the year this should be the majority. Ford Ennals, at Digital Radio UK, announced that Audi UK will now offer digital radio as standard on all new cars this year. BMW have already done the same, as have Mini. 
But there is still a lot to do and the UK broadcast industry is focussed on creating a successful digital radio ecosystem. Cars, communications, coverage, content and collaboration - these are the focuses for the UK. Ford Ennals says that digital will secure the future of radio for broadcasters and calls for more collaboration across Europe.  
The marketing body promoting digital radio in Germany, Digitalradio Deutschland, is counting on a KISS strategy to drive digital take up: Keep it simple, stupid. Their message focuses on content, attractive devices and a good hybrid experience for listeners.

 The coverage message is promising too. 72.4 per cent of Germany's population has DAB coverage today and plans are in place for future rollout. 
As for cars, VW and Honda plan to equip Skoda and Honda Civics with digital radio this year, as well as the BMW Mini. 
Norway has a clear message: they are planning to switch off FM in 2017. During the next two years, half the Norwegian population will have access to digital radio (today the figure is only 26 per cent). Digital radio will provide listeners with new content and new technology. 
Figures show that 47 per cent of Norwegians are "very likely" to replace their FM radio with a digital one when FM is switched off.

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