TV & Radio

Apr 14, 2014

Radio nowhere: ABC launches Double J, but is anyone listening?

The ABC has launched digital-only station Double J, but if you're outside a capital city (or in your car), you can only listen online. Freelance journalist Sally Whyte looks at the (incremental) rise of digital radio.

The ABC announced with much fanfare last week that Dig Music will be rebranded as Double J, a new digital-only station to address the complaint that “Triple J isn’t what it used to be”. Launching on April 30 with Myf Warhurst at the helm, it has ruffled some feathers in regional Australia, where digital radio is yet to be rolled out.

The national broadcaster is looking to digital for new products as there is no more FM bandwidth available, says Jane Connors, ABC Radio’s head of industry policy and strategy. “We don’t have any more analog spectrum, unless we took it off something already there, which we don’t plan on doing,” she said.

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13 thoughts on “Radio nowhere: ABC launches Double J, but is anyone listening?

  1. ianjohnno

    “…although the AM band has already been switched off in Europe.”

    Just what do you mean by that? There are still large numbers of AM (long wave and medium wave) stations in Europe. Some smaller nations may have gone FM (with some digital) but AM is far from “switched off”.

  2. crowdedplace

    I have been living in Vietnam for the last 8 months, and DIG radio/JJ has been a constant companion via online streaming. And as a 32 year old, it’s much more relevant and enjoyable for me than JJJ.
    I’ll definitely continue listening when i’m back in Australia.

  3. Kristian

    This is undoubtedly a great move. Double J will clearly be based on the model of BBC 6 Music, and that’s no bad thing.

  4. Migraine

    I’m still puzzled by the idea of the on-going digital radio ‘trial’ in Canberra. It works. There are some challenges with the terrain. What more do they need to know, that justifies it being a trial? It’s like the French testing nuclear weapons … oui, still works …

  5. Coaltopia

    Yes exactly – if it’s in your car and easy to use, DAB+ will get a listen.

  6. Jackson Harding

    Back to the future. I’m old enough to remember when the ABC launced it’s yout network. It was called 2JJ, or Double J.

  7. TheFamousEccles

    I listen to local stations via digital streaming, online, and will certainly be giving JJ a go. Some ISP’s don’t meter the content of certain digial radio broadcasters, so there is little if any impact on bandwith useage, AFAIK. Internode offers ABC and 3D (Adelaide) on unmetered useage, which suits me fine, I never listen to other commercial stations if I can at all help it (work not withstanding – grrr) and in my car I use my smartphone’s bluetooth conection to the stereo – sorted!

  8. [email protected]

    I live in Wollongong, the 3rd largest city in NSW and 9th largest in Australia with 293,000 people. We only just got ABC NewsRadio and still the local ABC Illawarra doesn’t stream or have any audio content online. And we can’t pick up any digital stations (except via computer or smartphone). It annoys me that we keep getting these great digital resources that completely bypass a city like Wollongong.

  9. Peter Snashall

    I live in and drive around Bangkok everyday. Dig Music/Double J is my station
    of choice while I’m driving around through stressful Bangkok traffic. I like
    Triple J but, yeh, it can be really annoying too. It’s a fantastic innovative move
    by the ABC.

  10. Blair Martin

    Once again the ABC/JJJ do something community radio stations have been doing for longer and better. Innovation is not a commodity that the ABC seems to have in any great amount.

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