Berlin -Mar 19, 2013 - Industry leaders were unanimous at the 2013 Radiodays Europe that DAB/DAB+ is the future of digital radio in Europe, because it enables broadcasters to provide innovative radio that will remain relevant in the digital era.
During the opening session of the conference, Jan-Willem Brueggenwirth, CEO of Dutch radio station Radio 358, told more than 1,000 delegates that DAB+ is the next big thing for radio in The Netherlands, where full DAB+ nationwide coverage will be achieved by Sept. 1, 2013, thanks to the tripartite collaboration between the government, public and private broadcasters. The same tripartite alliance was reported as a success factor for the planned 2017 FM switch-off in Norway, according to Marius Lille, Head of Radio at NRK.
Anneke Nyberg presented the EBU "Eurochip" campaign, which advocates free-to-air broadcast, analog and digital, in all devices. She advised delegates that radio must find its way into mobile phones and tablets to ensure the future of radio worldwide, and the Eurochip concept offers a simple answer to that end. However, Radio Futurologist James Cridland and Babak Zeini of Force Innovations presented statistical evidence emphasizing that now and in the future there will be inadequate bandwidth to carry radio via smartphone. They cited solutions via hybrid models, where the greater part of content is delivered by broadcast and enriched by the internet. Tobias Wallerius, from leading automotive supplier Visteon, advised delegates that Radio DNS closes the gap between traditional broadcasting and Internet radio.
Several speakers presented evidence of the continued market growth of DAB+ digital radio across Europe. Michael Reichert from ARD reported that 240 different models of digital radio receivers are now available on the German market, where it is anticipated that more than 1 million receivers will be sold by the end of 2013. Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, said that his organization endorses the EBU's Eurochip initiative, as the UK wants to see a common EU standard for digital radio which will result in lower receiver prices for the consumer.
The next Radiodays Europe will take place March 23-24, 2014, in Dublin, Ireland.