Now Is the Time for DAB Slideshow
LONDON — Anything that you can
turn into a JPEG, PNG or APNG (Animated PNG) can be broadcast over DAB/DAB+ and
accurately triggered to appear in time with the audio. The Slideshow feature is
one of digital radio’s many strengths but until recently the cost of color
screens has restricted it to high-end receivers rather than the mass market.
that is being sent
DAB/DAB+ in each region.
Slideshow sends images alongside audio and this can be something as simple
as the station logo and branding, information on the track currently playing or
additional information to supplement news, weather and traffic reports. We are
also starting to see stations linking in with social media feeds, advertising,
competitions and, with the development of hybrid radio, encouraging people back
onto the station or advertiser websites.
Components in DAB receivers have been getting cheaper each year and now
it’s possible for home receivers to feature color screens and retail for less than
€50/US$50, a significant drop and one that deserves attention from broadcasters
and manufacturers alike. Color screens provide more options when it comes to
designing menus, features and the overall user experience.
station branding from Australia, Belgium,
Netherlands, Norway and
We recently undertook an international review to find out how
Slideshow is being used around the world and what information is being sent to
listeners. Norway and Australia are two countries leading the way, with German,
Polish and Czech broadcasters also sharing an impressive range of information.
Station branding and song information are the most popular Slideshow
images to send, from something as simple as the station logo through to webcam
images showing the presenters at work. Song information is another frequent use
case — often accompanied by album artwork as seen in these examples from NRK,
Nova and others.
News, weather and traffic information are growing in popularity
and are of notable value to listeners, particularly commuters and drivers who
can quickly check for information on delays and accidents.
number of receivers with color screens for Slideshow is increasing steadily.
For home receivers, Pure, Sony, Noxon, Revo, Hama and TechniSat are just some
of the brands to offer models with color screens. A good proportion of
factory-fit DAB radios in the car are also compatible with Slideshow.
updates delivered by
and weather reports from Kiss Australia.
Slideshow can open up new revenue streams, enabling advertisers to push
extra information to listeners or using QR codes to host competitions. This is
something we’re seeing in hybrid radio applications where listeners can use IP
to click through to a landing or competition page.
In Australia the app for the LG Stylus 2 (which features DAB)
lets people click on images delivered via Slideshow to go to station or
advertiser landing pages. This could also be used to link to iTunes or similar
services to buy the track currently playing, or back to detailed news and
weather reports when these are being broadcast.
Radio’s future is multiplatform, and DAB and IP combine the
reliability and coverage of broadcast radio with the interactivity of the
internet. Receivers with color screens can add extra value where DAB broadcast
radio is supplemented by services and information delivered via IP, while
overcoming the battery life challenges associated with streaming over IP.
Slideshow with IP allows broadcasters to link to adverts, competitions, social
media feeds and more, opening up brand new revenue streams. This can replace QR
codes displayed on slides as seen in this example from Germany, making it
easier to direct listeners to relevant web links.
QR code used to link to a
website in Germany.
Slideshow has always faced a “chicken and egg” problem where
broadcasters have waited for more receivers to include color screens and
manufacturers have waited for more broadcasters to start sending images along
In collecting the examples above we were amazed by the range and
quality of information already being delivered by Slideshow around the world. For
broadcasters it’s an effective way of building closer relationships with
listeners, and for manufacturers it’s an affordable way of differentiating
products. As more countries roll out DAB+ and component prices continue to fall,
now is the time for both sides to make the most of what Slideshow can offer.
Patrick Hannon is president, WorldDAB.
welcomes other points of view. Please send comments to email@example.com.
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