Don't Adjust Your Dial

This past Christmas, when shoppers were making DVD players the electronics gift of choice, Britain's radio broadcasters tried an experiment. They subsidized the sale of 300 digital radios at eight locations across the country at the wallet-friendly price of €99 (about $142), a savings of at least $210 over the cheapest unit now available. They sold out in 30 minutes. Alba, the U.K.'s largest consumer-electronics manufacturer, got the message. It's bringing out a range of digital radios this fall priced from about $140 to around $285 under its mass-market brand, Goodmans.

Buyers will have plenty to listen to. By December,...

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