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Journal cover: info


ISSN: 1463-6697

Online from: 1999

Subject Area: Industry and Public Sector Management

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Digital radio and market failure: a tale of two complementary platforms

Document Information:
Title:Digital radio and market failure: a tale of two complementary platforms
Author(s):Benoît Pierre Freyens, (Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Business and Government, University of Canberra, Canberra, Australia)
Citation:Benoît Pierre Freyens, (2012) "Digital radio and market failure: a tale of two complementary platforms", info, Vol. 14 Iss: 5, pp.3 - 20
Keywords:Audio broadcasting, Community radio, Digital radio, Radio equipment, Regulation, Standards
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/14636691211256278 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:Received: 12 April 2012Revised: 10 June 2012Accepted: 10 June 2012

PurposeIn sharp contrast to television, various sources of market failure currently prevent market forces fulfilling the promise of digital switchover in radio markets. The purpose of this paper is to review the strengths and weaknesses, business models and market deployment of the two main platforms, with a view to establishing the economic case for higher regulatory involvement in digital radio markets.

Design/methodology/approachThe paper analyses the relevant broadcaster, engineering and regulatory literature, with particular emphasis on technical compatibilities among terrestrial radio broadcast technologies, and the technological and economic difficulties they face. The exercise is the first of its kind to scope and bring together these multidisciplinary contributions.

FindingsThe highly uncoordinated development and deployment of terrestrial digital radio platforms is leading this new digital industry to an impasse. There is a legacy of uncertainty and scepticism amongst market players. Furthermore, prevailing technology and business models have marginalised community radio services and regional audiences.

Research limitations/implicationsThe analysis does not cover the demand side (contents, culture) nor developments in non-terrestrial digital platforms, nor in the US-based IBOC standard.

Practical implicationsThere is considerable scope, particularly in large, sparsely inhabited countries with sizeable rural audiences to remedy the failings of the current fragmented approach through regulatory intervention through platform integration.

Originality/valueThere is a lack of coherent information published on the potential benefits that the new digital platforms are bringing to the audio broadcasting market, and on the current market difficulties they face. The article remedies this gap.

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