AMSTERDAM — Radio engineers and managers from around the world will once again be making the annual autumn trip to Amsterdam for IBC2019, which bills itself as “the world’s most influential media, entertainment and technology show.”
The statistics for the five-day event convey its scale — the exhibition covers 15 halls and hosts over 1,700 exhibitors spanning the broadcast industry. The accompanying conference features more than 400 speakers. In total, 2018’s event saw approximately 55,000 people from some 150 countries pass through the doors of Amsterdam’s RAI Convention Center.
This year’s IBC Conference is themed “Consumers First: A New Era in Media,” with keynote speakers examining the current state of the industry and sharing their visions for the future. These include Max Amordeluso, EU lead evangelist for Amazon Alexa; Cécile Frot-Coutaz, head of EMEA at YouTube; and Arnaud de Puyfontaine, chairman of Vivendi, the parent company of Universal Music Group and Canal+ Group.
Radio is well-represented. WorldDAB hosts a conference session on Monday morning, entitled “Radio distribution strategies for a connected world.” The panel will explore radio’s migration to digital and look at broadcast digital radio’s place in the distribution mix. It will offer recommendations and advice on how broadcasters can assess all digital distribution platforms, to make informed investment choices today and to safeguard broadcast radio for tomorrow.
“Our focus at this year’s IBC is to help broadcasters understand the opportunities and challenges of digitizing radio — across all platforms,” explains Bernie O’Neill, project director for WorldDAB. “We’ll give them the facts and information needed to develop an informed radio distribution strategy that will balance the budget as well as safeguard their audience and business models.”
Meanwhile, a Saturday morning “Tech Talk” at the Conference will explore voice interfaces that deliver interactive personalized radio, a cloud-based live production and playout system, controlled straight from a browser, as well as tools to help stations respond to an ever-demanding, interactive audience.
The Digital Radio Mondiale Consortium also has two sessions, themed “DRM — Smart Radio For All,” looking at the practical implementation of DRM in various parts of the world. Friday’s event features the Gospell receiver, while on Saturday, Nautel hosts a session on the latest DRM implementation news on its booth.
At the exhibition, as in previous years, radio suppliers are mainly centered in Hall 8, though there’s always plenty of interest across other halls. This year’s exhibitors include GatesAir, Inovonics, Orban Europe, On-Hertz, The Telos Alliance, WaveArt, WorldCast Systems and Wheatstone Corp., plus other leaders such as DEVA, Digigram, 2wcom, WinMedia, Tieline RCS, Broadcast Bionics and transmission provider Arqiva.
IBC 2019 runs from Sept. 13–17, at the RAI Convention Center in Amsterdam.