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Digital Radio – outlook for 2012

The next 12 months will confirm that radio has a digital hybrid future. The view is expressed in a collection of essays published by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) New Radio Group. The ‘Digital Radio in 2012′ document also draws a clear distinction between the world of broadcast and broadband radio. It predicts that specific roles will emerge for digital terrestrial broadcasting (DTR) technologies such as DAB+, and internet streaming platforms, during what is set to be an eventful year for Europe’s digital radio project.

The Chairman of the EBU New Radio Group Mats Åkerlund says consumers can also expect new and exciting visual content to complement traditional radio output. “Hybrid technology combines the strengths of broadcast and the internet, enabling broadcasters to fill blank screens with descriptive text, social media feeds, maps, medal tables and slideshows.”

The breakthrough means that consumers, struggling under the strain of expensive online plans will be able to demand zero-cost broadcast services.

“Multi-standard digital radio chips are on the way, meaning consumers no longer have to make decisions about preferred broadcast platforms or significantly, the inclusion of broadcast radio reception in tablet devices. This in turn will likely encourage the production of hybrid visual elements alongside traditional radio output.”

The New Radio Group (NRG) provides a forum for elected experts from Member organisations to share knowledge about digital hybrid radio. The Group looks at ways of exploiting the opportunities provided by new technologies to create relevant content, reach new audiences and enhance interactivity.