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.