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ABU Concludes 2018 Digital Broadcasting Symposium

Commercial Radio Australia CEO Joan Warner spoke about the uniqueness of radio as compared to online competitors

KUALA LUMPUR — The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union held its Digital Broadcasting Symposium in Kuala Lumpur. Let’s take a look at some of the more germane news, as reported by

Joan Warner, CEO of Commercial Radio Australia and well-known radio advocate, spoke to the delegates about the uniqueness of our medium when stacked up against new competitors online, including social media. “In radio’s case, and it has happened in some countries, is they’ve forgotten what people value about radio is it’s live and local – you can talk to people, you can talk to your Prime Minister live on air if you want to, you can tweet, you can engage via social media.

“Traditional broadcasters have to remember what the key strengths are (of radio) and don’t be frightened by the future. But also don’t feel so threatened, as some people in traditional media seem to feel, because the billions of people listening to radio around the world are not going away any time soon.”

Why do we never hear Warner speaking in the US? It’d be great to have her address the NAB Show.

Alexander Zink, senior business development Manager at Fraunhofer IIS, was asked about the potential impact of India’s DRM rollout on the rest of the world. “Whatever’s going on in India and the big members of ABU like Indonesia…definitely has an impact on the rest of the world.”

“Digitizing the FM band (in India) in particular will give the opportunity for smartphone manufacturers to support digital radio there under the FM band natively with a simple firmware upgrade on the devices without requiring any additional chips,” he said, quoted in the same article.

Zink talked about private broadcasters in India already getting excited about the possibilities of digital radio, and there will be “great reverberations from the whole Asia-Pacific region, where the big smartphone manufacturers are, and yes there is lots of impact on the whole region.”