As a reader of Radio, you’re likely a dyed-in-the-wool broadcast engineer with many years of experience. We’re doing our best to keep you up-to-date on what I would refer to as “standard” broadcast technologies. Still, there is more and more importance being placed upon newer techniques. In this month’s Radio, we have a theme — or at least an emphasis — on newer technologies. I hesitate to call them “non-standard” because, as time goes on, they’re becoming more and more common.
The industry continues to evolve, as do our techniques. At Radio, we’re paying attention to those changes because part of the job of a broadcast engineer is to keep up with newer technologies.
When it comes to the newer technology, there’s a tendency among older engineers to simply say, “I’m not interested” or “let the IT guys do all of that.” Well, I have news for you: Slowly, but surely, the “IT guys” are doing more and more of the work around a radio station. The lines between IT and radio engineering (as we have known it) are blurred, and it would be wise to respect the evolution of technology.
“Programmatic” is a phrase being thrown around quite a bit lately. As radio’s methods of reaching listeners evolve, so do our means of serving our advertisers. This month, we have an interview with Jateen Parekh, the chief technology officer for Jelli, a company that is providing programmatic advertising technology to many radio stations around the country. Whether your station is involved with Jelli or not, I’m sure you’ll learn something from this article.
The “on-demand” aspect of podcasting is really nothing new — it’s been around for at least 10 years — but it now seems to be hitting its stride. Chris Wygal takes a look at the production of podcasts this time around, with an emphasis on a mixer that podcasters might find useful.
It’s been said that radio was the first social media, since it offered a way for listeners to provide feedback (via the telephone). I’m not really sure we can make that claim — after all, one could write letters to the editor of a newspaper a more than a century ago. Nonetheless, radio has always interacted with its listeners. Social media plays an ever-more important role in that process, and our Facility Showcase this month takes a look at how Broadcast Bionics is educating broadcasters in the U.K. on options to increase interaction with listeners.
We also introduce a new feature this month, a column on streaming media. Fardau Van Neerden has a wealth of insight on broadcast streaming media, and shares his thoughts and expertise on that topic. He also sees “a huge gap between the traditional radio and purveyors of this new technology.” Fellow broadcasters: We should not let technological inertia lead to our downfall.
That being said, the Wandering Engineer has once again put forth his own thoughts on the matter. Sure — we all agree and know that new technology is important — but let’s put it all in the proper perspective. Broadcast radio has been around for 90+ years, while some of the biggest names on the Internet are now all but forgotten, even after less than a decade. The meaning of “radio” has changed from a purely technical one to one that describes the relationship between content providers and users of said content. “Broadcasting,” as opposed to the one-on-one relationships that are possible via the Internet, remains viable because of its broad nature and mass appeal. We can’t forsake that.
This issue of Radio isn’t only about new technology, though. Lee Petro and Scott Bridgewater (as well as yours truly) are back with information and ideas to help make your job easier and to raise your value around the station.
Thanks for reading this month’s magazine.