The radio industry remains an important part of the Australian media landscape and an important channel for the Australian advertising industry. It is also an important contributor to the Australian cultural scene and a powerful communications channel in times of distress or disaster.
ACMA’s Future delivery of radio report set out an approach to broadcast radio spectrum management designed to accommodate radio’s multi-platform future. ACMA determined that its priorities would be:
- Converting commercial, community and national services from AM to FM where FM spectrum was readily available
- Improving coverage of commercial, community and national services where spectrum was readily available
- Making digital radio channel plans for regional DAB+ where commercial or national licensees were committed to rollout
- Supporting trials for new broadcasting technology
The aim of this report is to review the current situation of the Australian radio industry in the light of the nearly two years of progress since the publication of the Future delivery of radio report, whether this alters the assessment of digital and online radio as supplementary, and whether this affects the spectrum management priorities reached in that report. The focus is on terrestrial broadcasting where the bulk of listening happens, rather than satellite or narrowcast radio services.
This is the third report in a series that has previously investigated the scope for migration of television to online networks, and the future of the regional television industry.