This is not a test: Austereo launches first commercial digital radio network

Utilising a portion of its allocated bandwidth for additional output, Austereo stole a march on its rivals by launching the first full-time stand-alone radio station on DAB+ in the world. Radar Radio will exclusively play undiscovered artists, with a heavy focus on Australian acts.

Radar Radio is available online right now on and on the DAB+ digital spectrum next year as digital radio launches in Australia. If you have a DAB+ radio in Sydney or Melbourne, then technically you can pick it up right now as it replaced Austereo’s trial station Superfresh at midnight last night. Once digital broadcasting goes live you’ll be able to listen to it in all the mainland capitals, except Darwin.

Radar Radio is launching with just one major advertising partner in BigPond. Austereo Digital Radio Content Director, Jamie Angel, told radioinfo, “Right now its not about making money. Look, we’re a commercial entity and at some stage of course it will be. But digital is going to take a long time to turn a profit. In the meantime let’s put something together that’s really good and that we’re all really excited about and will help us get to profitability that much quicker.”

Austereo’s Head of Digital Strategy Jeremy Macvean said Radar Radio will allow each listener to see details of the artist as each song is being played. “You’ll be able to see the artist and track name, plus click to learn more information about the artist if you want. Our listeners will also be able to rate songs they like, so the Radar playlist will reflect what the audience wants. Plus bands and artists can upload their own material on the site, so they can be added to the playlist which will provide an ongoing supply of new music for Radar.”

Any unsigned artists will also be able to upload material onto the site to get exposure.

When asked how much research went into the development of Radar, Jamie Angel told us, “It wasn’t really researched. We got together to explore the different things we could do and one really jumped out at us, which was going down the ‘undiscovered’ path. There’s a massive amount of undiscovered music out there that’s really good. I can’t tell you the figures, but there’s a lot of people out there who actually discover new music online. But what they didn’t have until now was one single place to go to discover it.”