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Speech Minister Gatz tijdens lancering DAB+

Posted 5/20/2015

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Flemish Radio is a remarkably strong medium

Every day, more than 4,2 million people listen to their favourite radio. With an average listening rate of
more than 4 hours, the Flemish people mark the second highest listening rate in Europe. It should therefore not come to a surprise that Flanders loves radio.

- Moreover, Flemish radio maintains its appeal to the advertising industry,
while the opposite is taking place abroad.


- While digitisation brings about more comfort for media users, it poses
- Nevertheless, the media industry is facing a fundamental transitional
face. Digitalisation is rapidly penetrating the industry.

severe challenges for the traditional actors in the media industry. Everything
we use is slowly becoming digitalised: Television, HD, Blue Ray, DVB-T, CD,

MP3, MP4,…

- The radio industry will face the same wave of digitalisation, which is
positive. The digital distribution platforms offer higher quality and limit
distortions. On top of this, the platforms allow more actors, more variety and
henceforth more competition. Moreover, it solves the problem of our FM-band
being fully occupied.

- I therefore am ecstatic about the initiatives taken by the private sector,
subsequently following the public sector. In past years, the latter already
broadcasted through DAB and other digital distribution channels. Thanks to
Norkring, seven commercial radio stations will now take their first steps
towards the digital future.

- On top of this the private sector will do so in DAB+, offering an even
better audio quality than DAB, allowing more space and capacity for multiple
radio stations and reducing environmental impact thanks to a reduction in
electricity usage and radiation.

- Lastly, I am happy this launch is taking place during the World DMB
European Automotive Event. At the end of the day, the majority of Flemish
‘listening time’ takes place in the car. DAB+ and other forms of digital radio can
only succeed if the car industry embraces the technology of digital radio.

- Our future is digital. In 2017, Norway will disable its FM-band. The
Netherlands and the United Kingdom have already announced they follow on
to Norway’s path. It seems inevitable that Flanders will one day have to adjust
to these technological evolutions.
Thank you.