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Fun Kids Radio first to commit to a permanent DAB+ channel in UK

By James Cridland for media.info
Posted 3 February 2016, 3.18am est

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The childrens radio station Fun Kids Radio will launch nationwide on the second digital radio multiplex, SDL, from 29th February, it's announced.

media.info has learnt that it's one of at least two DAB+ radio stations that are planned to launch on the new commercial radio multiplex in the UK.

Fun Kids will be broadcasting in 32kbits/s parametric stereo: which has been hailed as 'great audio quality' by many who've found the SDL tests. It's the same as "Sound Waves+" on the testing multiplex. It's using HE-AAC v2, which a516digital has noted is not fully supported by all DAB+ radio sets.

A well-written FAQ on the Folder Media website says that test transmissions will start on 15th February.

Fun Kids, operated by the same team behind multiplex operators Muxco, was the first radio station to trial DAB+ transmissions in the UK. Folder Media, which runs Muxco, was also part of the opposing bid for the second commercial digital radio multiplex.

Fun Kids already operates in London on DAB Digital Radio, and these transmissions are not planned to cease.

This comes a week after DAB+ channels appeared on the Portsmouth smallscale DAB multiplex trial.

Press Release

Radio's biggest unserved audience - children - finally get a radio station they can call their own, with the nationwide launch of Fun Kids.

Fun Kids broadcasts a mix of music, games and silliness for 6 to 12 year olds, hosted by a group of exciting, young radio presenters. In addition the station brings sing-a-longs, stories and learning for pre-schoolers with Fun Kids Junior, on-air when older brothers and sisters are at school.

Fun Kids, which up to now, has only broadcast on digital radio in London has enjoyed considerable success over the past five years, winning industry awards and reaching over a quarter of million young listeners each week.

Matt Deegan, Station Manager of Fun Kids: "Up until now children have been abandoned by the radio industry - both by commercial radio and the BBC. Fun Kids has built a large audience by catering for their tastes and interests, but we've been limited by just broadcasting digitally in London. The launch of Fun Kids across the UK will allow more children to have a radio station that they can call their own. Many radio stations talk about the need to bring young listeners to radio, but we're the only ones actually doing it."

As well as a broadcast radio station, Fun Kids has a popular website, operates over 150 podcasts channels and runs 6 YouTube channels covering everything from gaming to education.

Matt continues: "Kids are natively multi-platform. Whether it's TV, the radio, tablets or hand-me-down iPhones, kids love content made for them. Growing our digital radio reach means that we'll be reaching more radios and unlocking the 1.9m cars that came with DAB as standard last year, allowing kids, all over the UK, to spend even more time with Fun Kids"

Fun Kids' national launch is part of a new national digital multiplex that will bring a selection of new radio stations to the UK. The station will go live to the UK on the 29th February. Listeners should ‘autotune’ their radio to pick up Fun Kids and the other new stations.

More information

James Cridland — James is the Managing Director of media.info, and a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business. His website is at james.cridland.net, where you can subscribe to his weekly newsletter.
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Comments

1 year, 5 months ago

Parametric stereo, new one on me, I have found on my Internet Radio, the DAB part of it that in Central Scotland "Sound Waves+" in glorious stereo, the waves switching from one speaker to the other, looking forward to the other two stations broadcasting in DAB+, I think JazzFM and Magic Chilled, I am a bit old to listen to 'Fun Kids'

1 year, 5 months ago

The BBC has the podcasted 'CBeebies Radio' service.
BBC Radio for Schools still exists online and downloaded on digital radio overnight for recording purposes.
The BBC has not totally abandoned children for sound services!

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