IBC2018 is approaching. Between now and then Radio World offers a series of short Q&As with manufacturers about their plans and offerings, to help you get the most out of the annual trade show. Ben Barber is president and CEO for Inovonics.
Radio World: How has business been for the company since last year’s IBC Show?
Ben Barber: Business has been brisk. The international market has been very strong for us and as more and more broadcast engineers learn of our gear, sales go up!
RW: What are you hearing from your customers about their business outlook this year?
Barber: Positive. As more and more DAB+ licenses are granted around the globe, we are seeing a sharp increase in rolling out a viable DAB+ monitoring system.
RW: You’ve been active in the broadcast equipment market for years. What’s the biggest problem or challenge facing users in this segment right now?
Barber: Again, monitoring their DAB+ services.
RW: What new goodies will your company be showing? Why should attendees visit your booth at 8.C98?
Barber: We’ll have an updated INOmini 662 DAB+ SiteStreamer. We’ve released a significant firmware update that allows the user to view and monitor pictures. Also the StationRotation function allows engineers to rotate through all of their audio channels on their ensemble.
RW: You’ve been pushing DAB monitoring gear — is digital radio growing internationally or is it growing only in certain markets?
Barber: This past year Inovonics joined the WorldDAB organization, which is a wealth of information for what countries are doing with regards to DAB. With Bulgaria recently being awarded trial license, we look forward to expanding into that countries market as well.
RW: Is the show a good investment for you and your company?
Barber: Yes, of course. Anytime we have the opportunity to meet with our current broadcast base and expand that base, it is a good investment.
RW: What do you anticipate will be the most significant technology trend at the 2018 IBC Show?
Barber: For us, it will again be DAB+.
RW: How do your international sales and marketing efforts differ from your U.S. efforts?
Barber: The two markets are polar opposites. In the USA, you do have your large groups, iHeartMedia, EMF, Emmis, Entercom … but they only account for a small percentage of all the stations in the USA. That leaves a ton of smaller market stations and gives huge opportunities for sales. In international markets, the vast majority of stations would be considered government or private networks, with very few “individually owned” stations.
RW: What’s hot in the rest of the world?
Barber: Latin America and the Pacific Rim are forever expanding their current FM broadcast signals to include more and more remote locations. We see this as a huge potential.