German commercial broadcaster Klassik Radio AG has signed up for the EBU Smart Radio initiative.
The campaign, which promotes the integration of analogue and digital broadcast chips in every mobile device, has won broad European support over the past year. To date, seven major commercial radio broadcasters and associations have backed the campaign, together with 11 public service broadcasters.
EBU Head of Radio Christian Vogg says Klassik Radio is joining a long list of major supporters, ranging from public service broadcasters in Germany, the UK, Italy, Sweden and Norway to such private stations as RTL (Belgium) and the Sky Group in the Netherlands.
“In Germany, support comes from the Association of Private Radio Broadcasters, representing 290 local and regional radio and TV stations – a substantial portion of the commercial radio market,” said Mr Vogg. “Similarly, in the Netherlands, the Sky Group, which holds a significant market share, has aligned with EBU Member NPO to pursue digital radio. In French-speaking Belgium, Smart Radio supporters RTL Belgium and public broadcaster RTBF account for a 65 per cent audience share.”
Klassik Radio AG, Managing Director Ulrich Kobak said his organisation’s commitment stems from the belief that the future of radio is hybrid, a combination of terrestrial radio and the Internet.
“In the case of a national radio broadcaster, not only is it important to focus strongly on a new means of transmission, we must also create a seamless transition from the analogue to the digital world without, however, excluding any listeners who are not yet equipped with digital technology,” he said.
The objective of the campaign is to recruit hardware manufacturers to market terminals throughout Europe that meet this need. Chips, which can handle analogue, digital terrestrial and internet radio, are readily available. The bundled support of public service and commercial radio strengthens arguments for the car industry, mobile networks and smartphone operators: hybrid broadcasting is the way ahead.