Planet Rock, Absolute 80s and others to switch to DAB+ as Kerrang! and heat return

Digital radio stations Absolute 80s, Absolute Radio 90s, Mellow Magic, Planet Rock and Scala Radio will switch from DAB to DAB+ this Autumn.

The music stations currently broadcast using the original DAB format. When they switch to DAB+ they will only be available on DAB digital radios which support the newer DAB+ format.

Read more: What is DAB+ and is it different to DAB?

Some stations have previously moved from DAB to DAB+, including Radio X and talkRADIO.

Classic FM will also make the switch in January 2024.

As part of the changes digital stations Kerrang! and heat will become available across the UK, also in the DAB+ format. Heat is currently available in some areas in Scotland while Kerrang! is on DAB digital radio in three areas in England and Scotland.

Absolute Radio Country and Absolute Classic Rock are set to go national, increasing their coverage from several areas in the UK. Magic Chilled, Magic Soul and Magic at the Musicals will also go national, bringing a total of seven stations to the Sound Digital multiplex.

The Absolute and Magic spin-off stations are currently available on some local multiplexes where they are available as mono DAB services.

Absolute Radio was previously available on 1215AM and other frequencies across the UK, as well as on 105.8FM in London. Since leaving both medium wave and FM the station and its ‘brand extensions’ are now digital only. Bauer Media Audio UK says the Absolute Radio Network “has welcomed its highest ever audience figures with 5.4million weekly listeners”.

Peter Davies, Chief of Staff for Bauer Media Audio UK said: “With so many digital radios now being DAB+ enabled, this simple change allows us even greater opportunity to reach more listeners, while offering them a higher quality listening experience. And with 80% of our audiences listening on digital devices, the more services we can add to digital radio the better.”

The changes are due to take place this Autumn.