DAB, or digital audio broadcasting, is used to broadcast digital radio signals which provide higher fidelity, greater noise immunity, and mobile services that FM can’t offer. Now UBC Media Group, one of the largest independent radio production companies in the U.K., is using the DAB network for another purpose – to deliver songs on a download service. When listeners hear a song that they like on the radio they will be able to buy that track and have it downloaded to a DAB-compatible music player.
The service broadcasts encoded and encrypted music files alongside the audio stream. The files are cached on the mobile device for a short while before disappearing, unless the listener purchases the file. Once bought, the file can be transferred to PCs or DRM-supporting players. Files will cost about $2.25 each and must be pre-purchased. Phones with DAB receivers built-in should be available later this year. The service will be run as a trial, supported by the four major recording studios, through August.