Broadcast Radio remains a reliable and robust service: Joan Warner at #RadioAsia | radioinfo

Broadcast Radio remains a reliable and robust service: Joan Warner at #RadioAsia

Monday 25 April, 2016

Vice Chair of World DMB and Commercial Radio Australia CEO Joan Warner spoke about digital radio in the first session of this year’s Radio Asia Conference in Beijing.

Broadcast digital radio allows audiences to receive audio without using data, and allows advertisers to become more interactive with listeners, explained Warner.

“We can broadcast free to air sound, photos, ads, text… I emphasise that point… free-to-air,” said Warner, pointing out to those who think the internet or mobile data will replace radio are forgetting that it is not free and that it cannot service large audiences without buffering and failing.

She also let delegates know that the LG Stylus digital radio smart phone will be introduced into Australia in a couple of weeks. “It’s the first of its kind… we think it will be well received by the audience, based on our studies of what they want from radio.”

Commercial Radio and the government funded SBS Radio networks in Australia will play radio ads for the new smart phone in a campaign worth about $6 million in airtime. It will also be a good case study for how radio can drive sales.

“An article appeared recently saying radio was in trouble because everything would be online. This is wrong. Radio is still thriving.

“Broadcast remains a reliable and robust service to millions of listeners… traditional broadcast radio is still the main platform for people to consume radio.

“All radio listening cannot go online, there is simply not enough capacity for the billions of radio listening hours to be delivered by a mobile network,” she said.


Warner also explained that the  benefits of DAB+ include low cost and high energy efficiency, with up to a 92% saving in transmission costs. Other benefits include the opportunity to extend brands, access new audiences and provide pop up stations for events and emergencies.

Looking around the region, Warner said it is good news that RRI has launched DAB+ services. In other countries, Hong Kong has regular DAB services on air, Malaysia has a trial with 7 RTM and 5 private services on air. In Thailand there has been a one year DAB+ trial in progress. South Korea doing ongoing work to encourage digital radio. Brunei plans for a commercial launch of DAB, and Taipei has 5 services on air. Elsewhere, the Arab states have adopted DAB+ as the format for the future and South Africa has been on air with trials since 2014.

In Australia, 3.35 million people listen to digital radio, and now 25% of radio listening is done over a digital device. Half a million vehicles in Australia are equipped with DAB+ radios, there are 300 different models of digital radio in Australia priced from as low as $15.

Speaking in the same session, the Vice President of China National Radio, Zhao Tieqi (pictured) welcomed delegates to the conference, saying:

“We are faced with new challenges, but we need to put the challenges of new media in perspective. This conference will help us to work together to do that.”

China radio has an audience of 700 million people, using both traditional and new media. “We strive to marry the old and new. Radio is drawing on the advantages of social media. When there is too much media for people to watch, they want to come back to radio because it is an audio medium,” he said.

CNR is also using big data to understand audiences so that they can expand CNR programs in ways that suit the audience needs. “Media is a bridge between different civilizations,” he said, calling on all countries to build a greater degree of connectivity in media, to expand and work with each other to ensure that radio has an ongoing place in media across the region.

“Every country is at its own stage of development, we can learn from our partners and all media can learn from each other. We are on a journey to revitalize the countries of this area. We are willing to work together with all ABU to revitalize radio in this region.”



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