Digital Radio Day in Sydney

I’m not one for early mornings these days. By nature, I’m a night-owl, as that’s when I find myself my most intellectually active. However. for years and years, working in radio, I needed to be up early, usually by about five or five-thirty am. The transition in the last few years to more “normal hours” has been a welcome change, as I generally now wake up about 7. Sometimes earlier. Sometimes later.

This morning, however, I needed to be up early again, and to be on radio, briefly at 6.40. I was due to chat with Adam Spencer on the third anniversary of digital radio in Australia. My key message was something along these lines… Three years ago very few people had digital radios, they were quite expensive, and they weren’t very mobile. Three years later, about 1.2-1.3 million people listen via digital, they’re generally very affordable, and they’re now becoming available in cars. Three years later there are many more stations available, including some new ABC stations and community radio. Three years later, streaming, including mobile, is now a more viable option for listeners, but data plans, and the lack of ubiquitous wifi means makes it still difficult for many. So the bottom line is analogue (AM/FM), digital, streaming can all work together to serve radio audiences. It doesn’t have to be “one or the other”, as many critics, writers and pundits have suggested.

Despite the early morning, it was a good experience, and it was fun to go along to see so many other people enjoying radio. The star turnout had to be SBS Pop Asia, with their inspired decision to have a visiting pop group. Lots and lots of people turned up, and hopefully will be new listeners for them. Congrats to the peeps at SBS for totally nailing it.






10 responses to “Digital Radio Day in Sydney”

  1. Andrew Avatar

    Where was the outside broadcast? Ours was in Fed Square.

    1. James O'Brien Avatar

      Andrew it was in “First Fleet Park” which is the park between the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Cahill Expressway.

  2. phillipa salisbury Avatar
    phillipa salisbury

    hi james
    thanks for the email i love the pictures of the bridge an opera house

    1. James O'Brien Avatar

      Phillipa – after some rain last night, and even some hail, it was good to have such a lovely morning. I sat for about 15 minutes quietly overlooking the opera house and watching the world go by. Very peaceful.

      1. phillipa salisbury Avatar
        phillipa salisbury

        thanks james for your reply.the last time i was in sydney (3 yrs ago or more) i managed to see a navy sub in the harbour it was just as the first ray of light came out

  3. Andrew Avatar

    Ok, walked through there on our last Sydney visit. Bit out of the way. Martin Place might have been good.

    1. James O'Brien Avatar

      Was in Martin Place in 2009 – not sure why it wasn’t this time.

  4. Tom (@Tom125) Avatar

    I’m one of the 1 in 8! And it’s really annoying when I’m listening to something interesting on 702 digital at work, and then the AM version is playing sportcrap™ in the car on the way home! Need to look into car digital radios…

    1. James O'Brien Avatar

      I listen to digital at home and at work, and stream between the two.

  5. Victor Avatar

    I like how Vladimir Putin is looking over your shoulder. Is there a subliminal message in that? 😊

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