RTÉ to end radio services on Digital Audio Broadcast network
Move driven by audience usage, industry engagement, and financial management
RTÉ Headquarters in Donnybrook, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times
RTÉ has announced it will cease transmission of its radio services on the Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB) network on March 31st.
RTÉ’s digital radio services – RTÉ Gold, RTÉ 2XM, RTÉ Radio 1 Extra, RTÉ Pulse, and RTÉjr Radio – will remain available.
RTÉ said the move to cease DAB transmission was driven by audience usage, industry engagement, and financial management.
“The continuing popularity of FM radio, along with a surge in mobile listening, on-the-go listening, and voice activation means that DAB is now the least-utilised platform available to audiences in Ireland,” it said.
“While RTÉ spearheaded the introduction of DAB in Ireland in 2006 and made consistent efforts to evolve the product at both industry and consumer level, RTÉ remains the only broadcaster in Ireland on the DAB system.
“Closure of the DAB network was among the cost-avoidance measures included in RTÉ’s Revised Strategy 2020-2024, which was published in November 2019.”
The latest JNLR report, Radio in a Digital World, compiled by Ipsos/ MRBI, found that while 8 per cent of the population is accessing radio stations via digital means, the smallest number in this cohort opt for DAB.
According to the report, just under 5 per cent of adults in Ireland listen to radio via a mobile device, 2 per cent listen on a PC, around 1.5 per cent listen on a smart speaker, 0.6 per cent listen on a TV set and 0.5 per cent DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting).
More than three quarters of adults in Ireland listen to radio on FM.
RTÉ said it will co-ordinate an extensive public information campaign across television, radio, online and social media to highlight the closure of the DAB network and inform audiences how they can continue to enjoy RTÉ’s digital radio services.
The campaign will run until the closure of the DAB service.