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.


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.

Guidelines for Metadata and Content

Nick Piggott,

We want listeners to have the best experience of broadcast radio, and we know broadcasters and manufacturers share very similar goals.

Last month we started an initiative to make it easier for broadcasters and manufacturers to understand how metadata and content provided using RadioDNS’ standards could be used.

We received some very valuable feedback, and as a result, we’ve renamed the document to become Guidelines for broadcaster supplied metadata and content for Broadcast Radio Services

The new name, and the quite significant revisions to the text, reflect that we’re trying to help establish a common ground for tacitly approved use, not restrict the use of metadata and content. We think our standards are useful tools for broadcasters and manufacturers, but using our tools doesn’t imply that broadcasters are also providing all of their metadata and content for entirely unrestricted use either. We’re looking for that pragmatic middle ground use which most people will agree to.

Comments are open until 4th November 2016.

You can comment in the discussion thread, or you can email the project office on feedback@radiodns.org

This is just one part of our mission to create an open hybrid radio system that can deliver innovation by combining broadcast radio and IP.