The launch of digital radio broadcasting in Australia in 2009, could well see digital radio stations following their counterparts in Britain to offer consumers to download music tracks from radio stations as they hear them played using new 3G mobile technology from Unique Interactive, a division of UK broadcasting and media conglomerate, UBC Media Group plc (LSE:UBC).
The recent United Kingdom trial in Birmingham offered listeners to Chrysalis Radio's 100.7 Heart digital service the chance to download tracks as they heard them on air.
Some one hundred listeners purchased an average of seven tracks per week at a price of £1.25 (equivalent to about AUD3.00 or USD2.35). Tracks were downloaded and purchased on impulse as the songs were broadcast. This triggered a high download rate of both classic tracks and new releases. The trial achieved an 83 per cent listener approval rating with the ability to download the music, appealing strongly to women listeners.
Joan Warner, CEO of industry body Commercial Radio Australia deemed the UK trial as "very successful and exciting development" (for Australian broadcasters and listeners).
Ms Warner noted that being able to download favourite tracks instantly is 'convenient' to radio listeners and could have a lot of appeal as radio station airtime is the first place people usually hear new music.
Matthew Honey, the MD of Digital vendor, Unique Interactive will be presenting the UK research findings to the industry at the Australian Radio Conference being held in Sydney on October 13.
Digital Broadcasters Vendor News understands that the UBC Media Group is expected to announce the full consumer launch of the unique 3G digital radio music download service in the UK later this year. < http://www.digitalradioaustralia.com.au >