BBC Partners With Global Broadcasters to Develop Hybrid Radio

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BBC Partners With Global Broadcasters to Develop Hybrid Radio

Oct 16, 2014 11:32 AM, Doug Irwin, CPBE AMD DRB

LONDON�New research commissioned by the BBC shows the majority of smartphone users want radio in their devices because of shared concerns about mobile data costs, battery use and reception issues when using streamed audio services, according to

The research showed that mobile phone users would value hybrid radio--which brings together the strengths of broadcast radio, namely: free-to-receive, robust reception and reliability, with the digital enhancements and interactivity of internet radio.

For this reason the BBC is working with a coalition of global broadcasters, including UK commercial radio, the EBU, iHeartMedia, ibiquity, Emmis Interactive, NAB and Commercial Radio Australia � to research and develop �hybrid'' radio � a combination of internet and broadcast (DAB or DAB+ in Europe and Asia, and HD radio and/or FM radio in North America) radio � for use in mobile phones.

Nearly two thirds of the mobile phone owners surveyed found the idea of hybrid radio appealing and indicated that it could be a deciding factor when making a choice between phones with similar specs. Better reception, longer battery life and reduced mobile data costs were recognized as key benefits for hybrid radio in mobile devices and would make a tangible difference to listening while driving.

The coalition � under the banner of the Universal Smartphone Radio Project � has been discussing hybrid radio with mobile and technology manufacturers, and how to build the functionality into handsets.