RadioDNS Hybrid Radio to be included in new Audi A8

Nick Piggott,

First line-fit automotive deployment showcases an outstanding hybrid radio experience

We are excited to have reached a significant milestone with an announcement from Audi that they are the first automotive manufacturer to adopt our open standards for their new line-fit hybrid radio platform, which debuts in the new Audi A8, and will follow soon into more cars. Audi have adopted RadioDNS’ open and interoperable standards because broadcasters and manufacturers are not locked into using any one technical provider’s proprietary solution, guaranteeing durability across the life of a vehicle.

Audi’s hybrid radio implementation is market leading for both functionality and quality of experience. There’s a single intelligent station list which always picks the best way to receive the station, removing the need for the driver to decide between FM, DAB or streaming. That intelligent decision making also means that station presets can always recall the radio station, regardless of whether the car is in the broadcast coverage area.

Reception switching between broadcast and IP can be entirely seamless as the car drives in and out of broadcast coverage, and the driver can enable it to happen automatically. The receiver adjusts time delays and audio levels to create the perfect transition without interruption.

Station logos are kept updated automatically using the RadioDNS standards, and displayed at high quality on the large high-resolution touchscreen display used for station navigation.

The internet component of the hybrid radio experience can use a SIM card embedded in the car.

Any radio station can use all the exciting new functionality simply by publishing their metadata and content using RadioDNS’ open standards, and as other manufacturers implement our standards, that same metadata and content will automatically appear in their vehicles.

Nick Piggott, Project Director of RadioDNS said – “Audi have embraced our open standards because it guarantees that every radio station can have a place in their new radio experience. We’re here to help broadcasters take advantage of that, and to help manufacturers create great implementations of hybrid radio. We encourage every radio station to take the first steps today to implement RadioDNS”

Christian Winter, Engineer at AUDI Infotainment Development, and RadioDNS Steering Board member, said – “Internet Services come and go in the consumer world. To build a Hybrid Radio which will function throughout a car’s lifecycle, we decided to use the ETSI technical standards created by RadioDNS”

 

Find out more at our dedicated RadioDNS + Audi A8 pages

Expanding our US Coverage 🇺🇸

Nick Piggott,

Jump2go switches on over 150 stations to RadioDNS’ open standards for hybrid radio.

[UPDATE: 26th April 2017] jump2go have now secured over 250 stations to join RadioDNS.

Today marks a dramatic change in our US coverage, as jump2go announces that they will support our standards in their InnovativeFM platform. Jump2go provides technology services for hundreds of radio stations in the US, and will be initially switching on RadioDNS services for stations owned by Cox Radio, Beasley Broadcast Group, Summit Media Corp and Radio One Inc, marking a significant growth in US participation in RadioDNS.

Jump2go’s InnovativeFM product helps broadcasters provision their content for a variety of platforms, and has supported innovations like RDS RT Now Playing Information, HD Radio Album Art, and Apple iTunes music tagging. With the addition of RadioDNS support, rich information from radio stations can be delivered on IP alongside FM and HD radio.

Allen Hartle of jump2go said “We want to help our clients participate in hybrid radio and do so in a way that’s open and won’t leave them either locked in or locked out of proprietary solutions. We’re pleased to be working with RadioDNS to enable metadata, visuals and interactivity for hybrid radio”.

This is tremendous news for the US. Automotive manufacturers tell us they’re ready to launch RadioDNS enabled radios into North America as soon they see broadcaster support. This is a tangible sign that US broadcasters are prepared to support open standards alongside their existing projects

If you’re at the NAB Show this week (24th-27th April), come and see us at Booth N8417, where we’re offering free sign ups for all radio stations thanks to our friends at Pluxbox and Aiir.

iHeartMedia joins RadioDNS and increases our US representation

Nick Piggott,

 

I’m very pleased to announce that iHeartMedia, the media and entertainment company with the largest reach of any radio or TV outlet in America, is our second new member of 2017.

Our relationship with iHeartMedia starts near the founding of RadioDNS, when Jeff Littlejohn (Exec VP, Engineering and Systems Integration for iHeartMedia) was part of the group that oversaw the creation of our constitution, and they became the first US broadcaster to register their stations in DNS. We’ve continued to work with the company on understanding how an open standard like RadioDNS might exist in the US market, which has been invaluable.

Recently we’ve been working with iHeartMedia’s automotive team, connecting them with automotive manufacturers planning to implement RadioDNS in the US market. Getting their input around how they see radio in the connected car dashboard is valuable in shaping the implementation of our standards for the US market.

We’re welcoming a new automotive member – BMW Group

Nick Piggott,

Reflects growing interest from automotive in adopting open standards for hybrid radio in the car

I’m very pleased to be able to announce today that alongside our existing automotive and broadcasting sector members from across the entire broadcast radio sector in the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific, the BMW Group has joined the project. 

We think RadioDNS is very valuable in the connected car, where the existing integrated radio receiver can be enhanced by including additional functionality such as visuals, programme information, bookmarking, on-demand audio, and voice control information drawn directly from broadcasters over the Internet. As our technology standards are published by ETSI, manufacturers are reassured that they’re durable and will be available to broadcasters globally to use for free.

We’re already the EBU’s recommended standard for hybrid radio in Europe, and the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters, Washington D.C.) represents its members in the United States in the RadioDNS Project.

I’m really pleased to welcome the BMW Group to the project, as they bring expertise and insight into how we can create a compelling radio experience in the car using hybrid radio techniques. Listeners will benefit automatically from enhanced radio using their integrated car radio without having to use a smartphone or download an app.

What we’ve achieved in 2016

Nick Piggott,

As we get towards the end of 2016, we thought it would be useful to review some of our activities and give you an update on our progress creating an open ecosystem for hybrid radio.

Some of activities are marked Member priority. That means we give our members preferential access, consult with them in more detail, and they can guide the process in more detail. You can find out about becoming a member here.

Open Standards

We continue to be the only organisation globally promoting an open approach to hybrid radio, which mirrors the way that broadcast radio works today. RadioDNS plays no role in the connection between the listener and the radio station, we have no profit motive, and our ambition is to create an interoperable ecosystem that works like broadcast, where devices and services can come from a plurality of competing providers.

Project Logo

We want broadcast radio to look great, particularly in the car. Project Logo makes visible the benefits of hybrid by establishing a common set of metadata, like logos and genre info, from radio stations. It has given manufacturers confidence that they can design great user interfaces that relies on hybrid metadata from radio stations, and  broadcasters know that they’re in direct control of their metadata, so they have more influence on how their radio station appears to listeners.

During 2016 we achieved big increases in the amount radio listening in Europe that has metadata available using our standards, mainly through co-operation with the EBU and Radioplayer. Have a look at our coverage.

We’ve been working hard through 2016 to setup similar options in the US and Canada, and we will keep working on it during 2017.

Automotive Workshop

Member priority

The car is a significant place for radio listening, and it’s undergoing a revolution of its own. Radio needs to secure its place in the dashboard by matching the innovations happening around it.

In July 2016 we brought together the automotive industry and broadcasters to discuss ten topics. Out of that, we launched our initiative to establish guidelines on how manufacturers can use broadcaster metadata. You can listen to the discussion of themes here.

We’ll be putting another workshop together in early 2017, where we’ll pick up on those topics and see what progress we’re making. Join our mailing list if you want to be notified when it happens.

RadioDays Europe and NAB Show

Meeting broadcasters lets us show them the benefits of hybrid radio to their listeners, and gets them engaged with our mission. RadioDays Europe and NAB Show are the leading broadcaster conventions on each side of the Atlantic.

At RadioDays Europe we were able to demonstrate hybrid radio in a car for the first time, and at the NAB Show we were demonstrating the same hybrid radio functionality using a car radio device, along with our member Pluxbox.

We’ll be attending both shows again next year, with the latest on what’s happening with hybrid radio.

Testing and Trademarks

Member priority

Everyone needs to have confidence that RadioDNS hybrid radio works well for listeners. We will only let use people use our trademark if we have tested that their platform/device is working according to our specifications .

In 2016 we launched our testing platform for manufacturers to be able to check that their devices work according to our specifications, and if they do, we will issue them with a licence to use our trademark for that device. We’ve protected the trademark in many countries globally, so we can prevent it being misused on devices that aren’t properly compliant.

In 2017 we’ll expand the testing service to cover more functionality, and to test systems used by broadcasters.

Industry Project Support

Member priority

RadioDNS is part of a radio industry that’s developing and innovating in lots of directions. We want to work together with projects that are compatible with our mission.

During 2016 we worked with US broadcasters to ensure that the thousands of new FM translator sites being rolled out will be compatible with RadioDNS from day one. We also worked with projects looking to include radio functionality in smartphones, and understanding why station logos become inaccurate in car radios.

Technical Standards

Member priority

Our technical standards are at the centre of our open approach to enabling hybrid radio. They have to meet the needs of the radio industry to deliver a better experience of radio to listeners.

In 2016 we proposed updates to our standards based on valuable insight from our members. Those changes support functionality as diverse as voice recognition in vehicles, providing enhanced metadata, and describing programmes more accurately.

Our standards are living documents, so we’ll keep listening to what functionality our members need during 2017.

Communication

We’re a collaborative project, which only progresses when we talk with and listen to lots of diverse companies and people.

In 2016 we met frequently with broadcasters all over the world, and with manufacturers and the automotive industry. We were invited to present the concept of hybrid radio at events globally, to lay out our vision of how hybrid radio could be better than either broadcast or IP alone.

Our 2017 plan continues that engagement and listening, growing our ecosystem that supports everyone in the radio industry.