EBU: Compete on Content, Cooperate in Technology

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EBU: Compete on Content, Cooperate in Technology

Jan 12, 2015 2:59 PM, Doug Irwin, CPBE AMD DRB

LONDON--A six month investigation in to the experiences and practices of three European countries that are leading the transition in to digital radio has revealed 30 success factors, according to the Media Intelligence Service (MIS) of the European Broadcast Union.

The study of Norway, Switzerland and the U.K. shows that the 30 factors are subsets of 8 parts of the digital radio transition: institutional structure, policy and regulation, content and offer, technology, switchover process, public communications, consumer electronics and the car industry.

�The digital switchover is not an issue that broadcasters can tackle individually,� said Dr. Christian Vogg, Head of the EBU''s Radio Unit. �The technological transition has proven to be more challenging than originally imagined. Conflicts and divergence are common among players, so understanding that terrestrial radio cannot remain an 'analog island' in a digital environment is crucial to achieving effective coordination among all stakeholders. It's about creating win-win situations."

�Terrestrial radio is the only means through which content can be distributed on a universal basis, free at-the-point of use, which is something that Internet Protocol (IP) cannot guarantee,� said MIS head, Dr Roberto Su�rez Candel. "At the same time, it is also the only platform that guarantees the delivery of public service content and its associated democratic values. In its current analog form, there seems to be no more room for development in most of the European countries.�

The report builds on the EBU''s recommendation on Digital Radio Distribution in Europe, which suggests the deployment primarily of Digital Audio Broadcasting+ (DAB+) services and, only if DAB coverage is not possible, the use of Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) as an alternative.

Dr David Fern�ndez Quijada, who led the research, says the recently published roadmaps for the transition to digital radio in Sweden and Switzerland reinforce the need for clear guidelines.

�Obviously, national contexts are significant to radio markets,� he said. �There''s no one-size-fits-all solution. However, countries launching terrestrial digital radio services can build on the experience of pioneers; they can learn what works and what doesn''t, and optimize their efforts and resources by investing in the areas that are critical to success.�

The report is available for download here.