With the digital radio revolution just around the corner, commercial media group DMG Radio Australia has unveiled a flavor of some new music channels to come.

The broadcaster, which operates the Nova and Vega networks, has added two new digital brands to its portfolio of stations. Novanation is a 24-7 dance music format, while its sister channel Koffee will be a "mood and lifestyle-driven brand" built on a bedrock of chill-out tunes. Both are currently available online, and will soon be available widely to owners of digital receivers in Australia.

"Novanation and Koffee break new ground for commercial radio," comments Cathy O'Connor, CEO of DMG Radio Australia. "We believe it's unique content along with features such as text and pictures that will drive the uptake of digital radio in Australia. Combined with new levels of interactivity online, DMG has built these stations with the future in mind."

Australia's commercial radio sector will enter a new era on May 1 when the switch is flipped for a simultaneous digital radio feed in the five main cities - Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. The Digital Audio Broadcasting DAB+ system will be adopted, promising higher quality sound and new visual features such as song and band information, logos and artwork.

Until now, few of the networks had disclosed any new music proposals to accompany their leap into the digital age. Only Austereo Group, which operates the Today and Triple M national networks, had revealed any concrete plans to play in the DAB+ space. Melbourne-based Austereo broke ranks when it launched online its unsigned-artists platform Radar Radio last December. Radar Radio will go live May 1 on the full digital spectrum.

Trade body Commercial Radio Australia, which has orchestrated the nationwide project, hopes to demystify DAB+ through a recently launched $10 million Australian ($7.2 million) consumer awareness campaign.

Public broadcasters ABC and SBS recently admitted their respective DAB+ launches will lag behind the national start date, blaming funding issues.