Graham Dixon, Head of Radio at EBU, discusses digital radio’s importance in our digital world and his hope that we can all take a moment to reflect at IBC this year
“Digital radio is a vital part of the general digital trend,” says Dixon ahead of an IBC show with a theme of transformation in digital era and what it means for the broadcast industry. “In our uncertain world, reliability of service is more vital than ever; digital transmission can guarantee that people have access to information at all times.”
Along with universal free-to-air access and robust delivery, DAB gives broadcasters the ability to deliver new services, channels and ways of engaging with listeners.
“It can play a major role in invigorating the radio sector,” says Dixon. “These services can include data, hybrid solutions, as well as making space for innovative new services and channels, reaching new audiences and niche interests.”
At IBC this year, WorldDAB’s Insight Session will focus on digital switchover and the progress of DAB across Europe. Norway is the first country to start digital switchover, beginning in January 2017, and others are watching closely with Switzerland due to start the process in 2020.
Setting a date for switchover requires commitment from all parts of the industry and government. It’s this commitment which Dixon says is key to the process.
“Many stakeholders need to come together to create the circumstances for digital switch over; governments, broadcasters, retailers, the automobile industry, manufacturers and regulators,” he said.
“For this alignment to take place, all the parties need to demonstrate their seriousness to reach the digital goal. One important way of underlining this commitment is setting a date, or at least conditions for switch over.”
When it comes to the other big trends at IBC this year, Dixon hopes we can take a moment to reflect on what it is the radio industry does best:
“Alongside discussions of innovative delivery possibilities offered by high definition and immersive technologies, I would like to think that we would stop for a moment to reflect on why this industry exists, enriching people’s lives with attractively produced content and storytelling to inform and entertain them, encouraging people to be open and curious about the widest range of areas.”
Click here for more information on WorldDAB at IBC and the Insight Session.