Friday, November 28, 2008

RTE - DAB hands at (mis)using my money

I heard on Morning Ireland today that RTE is going live with a new digital audio broadcast service. During the report the reporter admitted that commercial providers were not leaping at the chance to provide digital radio services and that Britain's Channel 4 had recently abandoned plans to launch a digital radio service because advertisers weren't interested. The reporter also all but admitted that pretty much the only people who will be able to listen to the new stations are people with access to broadband.

Okay, this begs two obvious questions. One, why is RTE going ahead with a new technology that no commercial provider wants to touch at the moment? And, two, why is my license money going to fund a new service that is for all intents and purposes aimed at those who have the unlimited choice of online radio?

I actually tried a few of the stations today and, well, the sound quality wasn't great (that could get ironed out over time). But, more importantly, the question "Why bother" leaps to mind after a few minutes. Dance music? Indie/Progressive rock? Golden Oldies? I think those audiences can find their needs are already met sufficiently well online. RTE Choice was the only one that might be interesting, but the 20 minutes I gave it this morning had me thinking otherwise.

If RTE has the resources to fund a new unwanted service why not simply give us a refund on our license?