The Radio Industry Converges On Hybrid


This Sunday Special Focus Workshop was programmed by the Association of European Radios (AER). They pulled together a fantastic selection of speakers, all of whom provided a unique perspective on how to get the most out of hybrid radio.

Everyone agrees on one thing! Linear radio is brilliant, it’s not going anywhere! But hybrid can make radio better! “Hybrid” combines broadcast radio with internet distribution, enabling visual and interactive content.

Alexander Erk (IRT, Germany) has done some great research looking into what he calls “HRadio”. His background is technical, and his insight is spot on. Hybrid radio can enable sophisticated searches, pause and rewind, and personalisation of content. Hybrid provides a “back channel” or 2-way
communication, so the relationship broadcasters have with their listeners can be deeper and more meaningful.

But Hybrid Radio has got to work properly, and this is easier said than done. Multiple platforms, tricky operators and changing patterns in audience consumption have made life difficult for people putting together hybrid technologies.

The changing product market has made things more complex too. Voice activation and internet-enabled cars (i.e. cars with an internet connection) are pushing broadcasters to improve their metadata and change the way they think about their content. But with a polymorphous supply chain and so many broadcasters, all saying different things about hybrid technologies, many people still do not know what to do next…

Caroline Graze (Radioplayer Worldwide, Germany) is here to help. She said that there are now 2 million voice activation devices in Germany, and that number is growing rapidly. Radioplayer Worldwide believes that the industry needs one voice to speak to the “Googles” and “Amazons” of the world. If we all say different things, we will lose out on these new platforms.

Other speakers in this session included Sarah Geeroms (VRT, Belgium), Mike Matton (VRT, Belgium) and Vincent Sneed (AER, Germany).

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