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Earlier this year, commercial and public service radio broadcasters from the Czech Republic announced the establishment of a DAB Forum to develop and promote DAB services in the country. In the wake of this new digital development, more than 60 members of the New Radio Group from the European Broadcasting Union met in Prague Oct. 17 to discuss the direction radio is taking.
Growing social media platform Audioboo has reported record-breaking stats six months after relaunch, with 7.8 million unique users.
Now comes the internet and handheld computers (for which read smartphones and tablets). Friend or foe?
For the listener, friend, no question: as much music as you can handle, as many stations as you like. Catch up, save, share, tag, discover – enjoy!
For the broadcaster, it's a more mixed picture. With everyone competing on those devices, it’s all a lot more crowded. Plus, no-one has really figured out how to monetise without subscription. Radio has always been free to air.
Apple is gearing up to sell audio ads on a music-streaming service it intends to unveil at its developers conference next week, sources have told Reuters, going up against Google and US-based Pandora Media in the increasingly competitive market for mobile music.
It's no secret that radio audience size has been declining rapidly over the last decade. Recently, a new study from researchers at the University of Michigan has confirmed what many have been speculating; that these numbers have been drastically reduced to the demographic of human beings who spend hours of their day driving to and from work on highways with four or more lanes.
Is the future of radio in-car - traffic news and talk? The answer might depend on where you live. In Italy, for example, around 70% of all radio listening is in the car, while drivers and passengers only account for roughly a third of listening in the UK.
add your insight...
Twenty-six million people, half the population of the UK are now tuning in to digital radio each week, the latest figures show. And digital radio listening hours now account for 34.3% of all radio listening, up 17% year on year.
New Radio 1 breakfast DJ Nick Grimshaw has lost nearly a million listeners since taking over from Chris Moyles, plunging to the flagship show to its lowest audience for a decade.
Public service broadcasters like the BBC can afford to pursue long-term strategies, but the decision to replace the very popular Moyles was nonetheless brave. The critics will have a field day, but attracting young listeners to radio is crucial for Radio 1's future.
Swedish Radio has identified 12 editorial priorities. The first of them, which is about using social media and interactivity, reads:
"Develop Journalism 3.0 and the relationship with the audiences. Social media is here to help us strengthen our audience relationship."
There are two main reasons for us to participate in social media. The first reason is purely selfish: we want our content to be shared and spread as much as possible.
Very useful 'Social Media Handbook for Journalists' from Swedish Radio
DAB and DAB+ are the future for European digital radio, according to key figures in the industry who addressed the Radiodays Europe conference in Berlin. Sessions focused on the move towards turning off analogue services and the possibilities for hybrid radios combining digital broadcasting and the internet.
The process of building a digital future for radio is gathering real momentum in Europe thanks to events like #RDE and initiatives like #Euro-Chip -
Figures released by Pandora show that in 2012 its users listened to more than a million different songs by over 100 thousand different artists. Ten per cent of these artists were streamed to more than a quarter of a million unique listeners. This totalled over 13 billion hours of music.
A number of private radio stations in Germany are starting to use the RadioDNS technology after extensive testing. RadioDNS takes data from the internet and matches it with FM signals. It provides the link between what you’re broadcasting over FM, DAB, HD Radio (or other broadcast platforms), and what you can also provide over an Internet connection.
There appeared to be an overabundance of digital music streaming services before Apple’s iTunes Radio became a reality last week, so it stands to reason that a shakeout—if it wasn’t already on the horizon—could now be only a matter of time.
More than half the UK population now listens to radio via digital channels, according to the latest official radio listening figures, giving fresh impetus for Government plans to press ahead with the delayed switchover from analogue to digital signal.
Von dem Meilenstein ist Deutschland noch weit entfernt...
A German firm is proposing to transmit adverts via train windows so that the sound appears to "come from inside the user's head" when passengers lean against them.
When I first saw this I thought the silly season was upon us, but on closer inspection it seems that Sky Deutschland is taking 'bone conduction' technology seriously. Advertising that really does get inside your head, or sinister mind control?
Apple has unveiled iTunes Radio. The new service, which launches this fall, is a station-based radio player. Pick an artist like Led Zeppelin, start a new “station” for that artist, and iTunes radio will begin playing a songs by that band, with other songs from similar bands (The Rolling Stones, The Kinks) mixed in. It resembles Pandora Radio more so than on-demand services like Rdio and Spotify, where you can pick the exact songs or albums you want to hear. Like Pandora, iTunes Radio chooses songs for you using algorithms. You can create new stations, and rate the songs you like or dislike as they stream. It learns your preferences and modifies the station to better suit your tastes.
No longer an oddity, digital radio in many corners of the world is becoming an important part of the mediascape and a next step in the evolution of content delivery.
A hard core of listeners over the age of 55 are threatening BBC Radio 1’s reinvention as a cool “youth” brand by refusing to switch off the station.
It's becoming harder to pigeonhole audiences who refuse to grow up. Attracting younger listeners is key to the future, but the stubborness of older fans of the UK's biggest youth radio is presenting the BBC with an interesting quandary.
Google has formally announced its new subscription music initiative, Google Play Music All Access. Rumors first broke that Google was working on the service earlier this year.
Jørn Jensen is best known outside his native Norway as President of the WorlDMB Forum, but he also works for the Norwegian public service broadcaster, NRK, whom he joined in 1986 after a 10 year career as a musician. Jorn initially made radio programmes for NRK's Music Department, but over the years he has become increasingly involved in programme production and development, as well as the creation of new digital stations.
Mark Rock is the founder of Audioboo.fm, the social way to share your voice, narratives, stories and news. Mark has recently passed along the CEO role to focus more on strategic thinking for the company, as well as working on some new startups in diverse fields and, finally, spending a little more time with his wife, dog, five guinea pigs and four children.
Helen Boaden is taking up the new role of Director, BBC Radio from April. Here’s her email to staff saying goodbye, and hello.