Brenda Salinas, from Google News, eased delegates into her thoughts on the future of bringing audio to audiences with a hilarious and informative presentation.
She outlined three fundamental aspects of radio in the future: on-demand, interactive and data driven.
Firstly, Brenda talked about how Google is using data to customise radio for individuals. She reminded delegates that radio was designed for an antenna that would broadcast to many people, so one programme would be designed for a large and diverse group. However, with the internet serving people at an individual-scale, this homogenising is not necessary and, actually, is a barrier to connection.
Brenda went on to explain how interactivity will likely be central to the future of radio. Interactivity can be thought of in the context of how radio has traditionally “interacted” with audiences. However, in the future interactivity could literally provide an opportunity for audiences to converse with a voice coming through their speakers – interrupting and asking questions. This might sound scary but actually it is exciting, as listeners can supply the answers to live questions right there and then.
Brenda leaves the auditorium with a positive thought: “Radio isn’t going anywhere because the art of telling a great story has stayed the same for thousands of years”.
Another insightful and practical example of what audio might look like in years to come.