Dixon is head of radio for the European Broadcasting Union.
store for the radio industry in 2018? Over the next few weeks, we’re publishing
a series of interviews with thought leaders from around the globe in various
segments of our business. We ask them to weigh in about specific trends and
stories they’ll be watching this year. Graham Dixon is head
of radio for the European Broadcasting Union.
Radio World: What
do you see as the most pressing technology challenge facing radio broadcasters
Graham Dixon: Voice-activation appears to be a game-changer,
not just a passing fad. The good news is that there is evidence that households
with such devices are consuming more audio — this is good news for radio!Here at the European Broadcasting Union we
are keen to understand, participate and leverage the opportunities this offers,
and have just founded a new working group — VOX — to bring together expertise
in this area.
RW: What consumer
electronics trends will have the most impact on how consumers interact with
radio and audio media?
Dixon: The convenience that voice activation offers to
users is proving highly attractive, and the functionality is spreading to other
devices; the Alexa phenomenon now manifests in various guises. This, combined
with the possibilities offered by AI, will fundamentally change the relationship
between users and their devices.
RW:What do you think
will be the prevailing tech trends for the next three years?
Dixon: Apart from voice-activation, digital radio is
finally on the move, offering a stable platform with more spectrum, and the
opportunity to launch new services, offering listeners an enriched experience.
The core territories are well known, but we are seeing DAB move forward in
Bulgaria, Ukraine, Croatia, Greece and Jordan. All this is very
RW: What major
technologies are affecting the radio industry on a global level?
Dixon: Radio continues to adapt well to social media,
making producers think in a more visual way in highlighting distinctive and
eye-catching material outside the linear channel, while still preserving the
centrality of the human voice and musical performance. It is exciting to see
how increasingly radio is no longer associated with a particular type of box!
RW: Where do you learn
about new technology each year, what trade shows or information sources?
Dixon: Great colleagues at the EBU and our member
organizations, and our own EBU network of radio innovators, the New Radio
RW: What else should
Radio World readers keep on their radar?
Dixon: We all need to retain our critical faculties,
question where our information is coming from, ask whether the media sources we
access are presenting us with a wide range of opinions. Radio should be
broadening our minds, not reinforcing our preconceptions — let's keep it like