Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Euro Broadcasters Explore the Potential in Collaboration

Industry gathering discussed digital and hybrid radio, dashboard displays and “Total Audio”

The author is communications manager for WorldDAB.

“The audio landscape is more creative, diverse and alive than ever,” said Bayerischer Rundfunk’s Katja Wildermuth in the opening session of Radiodays Europe 2024, held recently in Munich, Germany. 

The event reflected this diversity in its theme of “Shaping the Changing Audio Landscape,” with sessions covering radio, audio, podcasts — and more 1,500 delegates attending from more than 50 countries.

Stefan Möller, president of AER, the Association of European Radios, reflected radio’s place at the heart of this ecosystem. 

“Radio is the drummer in the band called Total Audio,” he said. “It keeps the rhythm, everyone relies on it, everybody needs it.” 

This was echoed in a session by Cilla Benko of Swedish Radio, who reminded broadcasters that they have “a crown jewel in linear radio” as part of a session exploring new strategies for the medium. She said the broadcaster was “catering for an audience that don’t want to miss out — linear radio is very much about the live experience.”

Speakers across multiple sessions highlighted radio’s enduring role as a trusted storyteller. The importance of maintaining this for the next generation was emphasized. Alexandra Daskalopoulos, CEO of Greece’s Frontstage Entertainment said: “Radio is reachable for younger audience, but we have to teach them about it.” 

With increasing competition for in-car listening, maintaining radio’s prominence in the dashboard, and the importance of hybrid radio which combines DAB+ and IP, also featured heavily at the event.

In the session “Radio.Content.Car” Jacqueline Bierhorst, president of WorldDAB, the global industry forum for DAB digital radio, called for collaboration between public and private broadcasters, and between the radio industry and the automotive sector. 

She highlighted the critical importance of broadcasters providing metadata to ensure the best possible dashboard experience, such as display of station logos and artist information. “We’re on the barricades to keep radio prominent in the car,” she said. “If we don’t look good, they will take somebody else who does.” Laurence Harrison from Radioplayer backed this up, saying: “For carmakers to make radio prominent, they have to be confident it will be a great user experience.” 

Xperi’s Joe D’Angelo had practical advice for station managers: “Put the same care and attention into your metadata as you do for your audio programming. You’ll reap the benefits if you instill that discipline.”

Bierhorst also noted WorldDAB’s “Dashboard Dialogue” project with Edison Research, which found that radio remains an essential part of the in-car experience and is the most listened-to audio platform in the car. “We create beautiful content ourselves, and we need to control our own distribution,” she concluded.

Thomas Granryd from Swedish Radio and Gwendolin Niehues of the German public broadcaster ARD launched the “EBU Connected Car Playbook,” describing it as a proposition for a joint road map, to identify a direction for the whole industry. 

Thomas Granryd of Swedish Radio is seen on a screen at a session discussing the EBU Connected Car Playbook initiative.

Granryd stressed this was not just radio asking the automotive sector to include radio. “This is a true collaboration. We need to bring stuff to the table as well,” he said, and called for groups and initiatives to be formed to start handling the challenges.

Elsewhere at the event, Radioplayer — which now serves approximately 10,000 stations in 22 countries — announced several new partnerships. This included securing distribution with Google Assistant, a key player closely tied to the connected user experience. Radioplayer said this would grant broadcasters “increased command over distribution channels and pioneering business models via voice-enabled services.”

Meanwhile, Xperi announced that from June, Xperi’s All In Media (AIM) and Nation Broadcasting will begin offering a free to access radio and audio app in the United Kingdom. Titled “Nation Player,” the new aggregator app, which is powered by AIM Player technology, is open to radio operators and major podcast producers who want to reach a UK audience in the home, on mobile and in the car.

[For News on This and Other Shows See Our Show News Page]