Pure, a British company that made its name producing digital radios, has announced that it is also launching its products in the UAE. Peter Blampied, the company's director of sales, explains why Pure decided to expand into the Emirates.
In the United Kingdom, Pure is regarded as the pioneer of digital radio. Is there such a thing here?
Initially most of our product range was digital radio-focused for the UK market. We then moved our product line forward and started to pioneer internet radio and now we're going one step further with music streaming. There's no digital broadcast radio here [in the UAE], no. There is FM radio and internet radio obviously through broadband. There is actually an ongoing discussion in the region about introducing DAB [digital audio broadcasting] radio.
But I remember hearing that digital radio was not as popular as it was expected to be in the UK. If so, why would they introduce it here?
What happened with digital radio in the UK was there was an initial, if you like, flurry of interest and then a period of uncertainty. Now [it is] very much moving forward. The government is very clear in the UK that they want to move to a DAB radio platform.
Why did you choose to launch here in the UAE?
It's really because of the whole new class of product that we are rolling out during the next 12 to 18 months. This is all about integrating radio with other features … The music that you have on your smartphone or your tablet or Kindle Fire for example, [can be sent] to a radio. The UAE is very much a hub in the region.
What's the competition like here?
We have spent probably six months making a decision to come here. I would say people are listening to radio through a home theatre system in many cases or they are using a docking station to listen to music on their iPhone. What you are not seeing is people really understanding that you can have internet radio and a docking station. You can have FM radio, a docking station and internet radio streaming, all in one product.
Why did you choose the Burj Al Arab for your launch event?
We are a premium brand and we are a premium quality product. We wanted to make it very clear that our intentions are genuine.
* Gillian Duncan
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