Historically, radio listeners have tuned to their radios to hear audio content, be that locally focused services, specialist music services or speech programming. They are broadcast to, with no in-built mechanism in their radios to to enable them to interact with the station. If they miss the presenter introducing a song or do not catch the telephone number contained within an advert, they have no automatic way by which to get that information.
Through digital radio, radio stations can help remedy these failings.
Digital radio have a LCD display screen that provides details such as the station name, the artist and track currently being played, the time, contact information and even news headlines.
Many digital radios automatically store around 20 minutes of output of the station being listened to which enables a listener to pause and rewind. So if that song title or telephone number is missed, one can simply rewind the radio to catch it again. Other digital radios have even greater memory to enable whole programmes to be recorded.
One of the next developments will be the inclusion on an Electronic Programme Guide (or EPG) on all digital radios. As on television, EPGs help listeners to find stations and programmes quickly, as well as set reminders for their favourite shows. They also have benefits for radio stations themselves, helping to promote programmes and features.
Folder Media is working closely with the MuxCo multiplex network to ensure that data services are provided on all its multiplexes. From launch, each multiplex will have an EPG and provide for a Podcast Service through which community and specialist groups to will be able to ‘broadcast’ programme features through the radio.
Data services will help differentiate digital radio to other radio platforms. Whilst there are consumer benefits to having simulcasts of analogue services (improved coverage across a wider area), one of the big benefits of digital radio is providing increased consumer choice through additional radio services and data services that will enhance the listening experience to both simulcast and digital only services.
Some of the exiting opportunities that consumers will be able to experience in the future will include:
- Music download services – hear a song on the radio and instantly purchase it through a mobile network back channel
- Play games – play content rich games with high quality music that are downloaded through the radio, and use a mobile network to interact with other players
- Visual images – with many new digital radios having small colour screens, radios services can further enhance their content with station logos, images of the presenter, artists and album artwork, whilst advertisers can display images of their products whilst an advert is played.
If you are keen for your station to provide additional functionality to enhance the audience and advertiser experience, Folder Media can halp deliver solutions.
For more information, please contact Matt Deegan at Folder Media.
Photo from clareirving