In April this year VDL, a French network provider, launched the RNT Lyon digital radio demonstration. This project brings together 15 commercial and community radio stations broadcasting in digital on one multiplex with content reflecting the diverse and rich landscape of French radio from rock and pop to African and Christian programming.
The RNT Lyon trial is an important step forwards for the development of digital radio in France as from the start, it has focused on consumer demand and has used a proven model usually applied to full country roll-outs. It initially saw the launch of a consumer website with details of digital stations on air and the receivers available in store. This was combined with close co-operation between a number of key radio industry stakeholders: the digital radio receiver manufacturer PURE worked with local retailers to ensure products were available for the launch; retailers and broadcasters coordinated efforts by ensuring in-store point of sale promotions were available whilst on-air campaigns were broadcast. These campaigns were compiled not only by VDL but also by the broadcasters participating in the trial and the advertisements aired on both analogue and digital stations to raise awareness of the benefits of digital radio to a wider audience.
In addition to cross-industry promotion the project also saw event based activity used to great effect. The cornerstone to the successful launch of the project was undoubtedly the press conference which brought together national and regional journalists who used the press launch to generate even wider public awareness of the trial. Besides the extra attention generated by the press conference, two events were held in central Lyon which were promoted on-air and via social media. These events saw DJs from digital radio stations interact directly with the public and this combined with receiver give-aways ensured that one of the key slogans of the trial – ‘La Radio Numérique c’est fantastique!’ was made memorable to those that mattered –the listeners of Lyon. Further promotional events for the project are planned for the end of this year and the success of the project will be measured through a research project. However attendance at the public events ,feedback on social media sites and receivers sold in shops indicate that the digital radio revolution in Lyon has started.
WorldDMB Project Office