Patrick Avenell writes for The Current out of Sydney, Australia. The Current is an online magazine devoted to the electrical appliance industry (including our beloved radio). Avenell scored an interview with Joan Warner, Chief Executive of Commercial Radio Australia, a trade association that represents 98% of the commercial broadcasters in the island nation.
Avenell asked whether Australians could trust the conversion dates being put forth by the media. It seems that Down Under, as here in the States, the digital conversion has not happened smoothly, and deadlines have been extended. According to Warner,
“By the end of May, all current commercial services will be broadcasting in digital, with our friends at ABC and SBS to gradually join us on air in June and July.”
Recent polls show that 40% of Australians know about digital radio and the conversion. Here in the U.S., awareness of digital radio is much smaller. Averell laments the relative lack of media coverage radio conversion has gotten compared to the television conversion:
Whereas digital television has been receiving widespread coverage in the media, and the retail benefits are heavily espoused, the opportunity for retailers to generate new sales by leveraging off digital radio has been largely ignored.
Electronics retailers could use a boost. By talking up the digital future of radio, broadcasters are not only securing their own survival, but also the survival of retailers and manufacturers who make it possible for our signal to be heard.