The 2015 Digital Radio Summit is now history.� More than 110 participants, from 25 different countries, attended the event, which featured discussions on the future of digital radio, according to EBU news. �
Among the speakers was Michael Hill, Founder and Managing Director of UK Radioplayer Ltd.�� He urged participants to take hybrid radio to the next level: �Launch your own shared player platform; help solve the data-jigsaw and commit to RadioDNS, if you haven�t already; and, help fight back against the companies that want to steal our place on the dashboard,��he told the audience.�
Paul Brenner, SVP/CTO of Emmis Communications, showcased the Nextradio Hybrid Radio App, a working example of hybrid radio smartphones from the United States. �His company found that when you give audiences something to look at (i.e., a visual representation of artist info) that their listening time nearly doubled � an interesting piece of advice for broadcasters.�
Frank Nowack, Ford�s Function Owner for Broadcast Media and Reception, noted in his keynote speech on the topic that the car industry (Ford in particular) is dedicated to going forward with digital radio, but more coverage of European roads must be achieved to do so. �He recommended that broadcasters pay attention to send correct information for service linking and information.
The rest of the morning�s session focused on updates from various organizations, including WorldDMB, DRM, RadioDNS, TISA and IDAG, and different country perspectives. �In Sweden there is now a report recommending the deployment of digital radio for public and commercial radio with a FM switchover scenario; the Government will give the decision in 2015 for the rollout. �Polish radio continues its DAB+ deployment, targeting cities first.� In France, there was recent news that the regulator (CSA) has produced a report on digital radio and has the objective to expand its presence there. �In Germany, ARD has restructured its DAB strategy and has planned to define an FM switchover strategy proposal in 2015. Switzerland has completed the definition of its FM switchover strategy; the objective is to have FM switched off by 2024 latest.
The day ended with a panel discussion: Do we need radio in smartphones? �The conclusion was that yes, there is a need but it must be interactive, attractive and offer possibilities to mix real-time with on-demand content. �All of the current effort and initiatives lean toward the integration of hybrid radio into smartphone. �Attendees noted that mobile operators and manufacturers will have to find interest in this for the process to succeed.