Despite the growth of DAB and the increasing choice of radio stations, the government here in the UK has reversed plans to close down analogue stations by extending licenses for another 10 years.
It means that older car radio equipment will still receive signals until at least 2032.
Minister for media and data, John Whittingdale told us…
As we move into an increasingly digital world, we’re making sure the licensing landscape for radio is fair and up to date and allows audiences to enjoy a wide range of high-quality stations.
Today’s step ensures there is no disruption for loyal listeners of treasured FM and AM radio services such as Classic FM, Absolute Radio and TalkSport over the next decade.
We will soon be turning our attention to providing similar long-term certainty to support the future growth of digital radio.
Several FM and AM commercial radio licences were previously due to expire from early 2022. However, provided the stations also broadcast on DAB, Ofcom can now renew these analogue licences.
Digital makes up 58% of listening in Britain, which is still lower than hoped. A mixture of hard-to-replace in-car radios and reception problems have held things back somewhat.