Throw the wireless radio away, for the digital wave
March 1, 2007
About a month ago I noticed a shift in the kind of publicity that
digital radio on the Internet was getting. I noticed the odd 'job
vacancy' here and there for an Internet radio service both in sales
and program production. Then I noticed some very large commercial
companies talking of starting Internet radio for all of the businesses
in their groups. There were news features daily coming through my
e-mail talking about some new Internet radio service or the other.
The biggest shock of all to me recently was when France24 went live.
It's a television station with live news, EXCLUSIVELY ON THE INTERNET.
Their publicity has been massive and lot's of other media have
been reporting on them recently. This is the way ahead. Here's
something else that I saw in the news only tonight:
"One television entrepreneur is willing
to bet his life that the future of broadcasting lies
in the convergence of media -- a bringing together of
television, radio, SMS, 3G, video conferencing, Internet
chat rooms and web cams. In fact, the future of broadcasting
is already here today and live and kicking in Hong Kong,
according to industry veteran and founder of The Interactive
Channel, Robert Chua.
Speaking in an exclusive interview in Bangkok, Chua explained
how he had been in the business for 43 years and has
seen the broadcasting industry from the days of black
and white, through to colour, the advent of satellite
TV and now the advent of the Internet and now interactive
media. "I'm willing to bet my life that this is the
future, Chua said.
Today, The Interactive Channel (tictv.com) broadcasts
through multiple media channels -- cable, IPTV, Internet,
radio and cellular phone in Hong Kong. The typical format
is for a large video window, a chat room on the left,
banner ads and call-in windows, either by videophone,
webcam or 3G phone to enable user participation".
Full story here at AsiaMedia.UCLA.edu
Updated February 23,
Izzy Wizzy Let's Get DIGITAL!
I alone don't have the financial resources or business head to
start 'North Wales Live' TV or radio, sadly, but I do know that
one day soon there will be a North Wales Radio service, a North
Wales TV service and a whole host of other relevant media for people
living in North Wales, exclusively local and exclusively digital.
I urge anyone with the business skills and where-with-all to get
a local TV or radio station off the ground and to do so quickly.
Money will be made for those who do it right and do it soon, I'm
Interesting also that Ofcom themselves are at last publicly embracing the
digital platforms a little more. For too long the 'digital online
radio' scene has been buried at the bottom of their business. They
do seem to be more pro-active about Internet broadcasting today,
which is encouraging.
The MCPS/PRS Alliance are still issuing their notes about
how a 'Pan European Licence' is good for the performers and writers
of music. It's confusing in part because they are offering a UK
licence to Internet broadcasters but they are almost warning us
that a new Pan European licence is to become favourite. As I see
it, there is an issue arising about royalty payments, or rather
a lack of them. It is difficult to track individual stations for
each and every song they play especially across differing countries
with differing mechanisms in place to collect their own royalty
dues. There is a great fear that artists globally will loose out
on royalty payments if there is no common policy or 'licence agreement'
between countries. Hence the Pan European Licence idea being promoted
on the MCPS/PRS Alliance's front web page. The point is, international
royalty politics or not, digital and Internet radio is now well
and truly in the regulatory and commercial arena, being talked
about in much wider circles and growing amazingly fast.
This all means surely that locally derived Internet broadcasting
will come. Any minute now someone will announce something to free
us from the tyranny that conglomerate analogue radio has bestowed
upon our once 'proudly local' commercial analogue radio services,
and it will perform all the good and wholesome local things that
the BBC in Wales used to provide on the airwaves of BBC Radio Clwyd,
not just in static text and pictures with a scattering of video
clips as they do now on the Internet web site that replaced radio
Clwyd. Rather, their web site will be brought alive with real local
presenters, proper local programming and real local issues being
tackled interactively, live and for most of the day, like only
the BBC in Wales can when it puts its mind to it...
If you want to start Radio North Wales, or TV Gogledd Cymru, why
not get on with it sharp-ish. Let's for once try to make the business
of local broadcast media LOCALY PRODUCED, and let North Wales profit
from it, leading the way, building its plentiful local broadcast
media skills once again, employing local talent and training skilled
operators, but this time on the Internet and digital platforms,
where I reckon all broadcasters will be in much less than 10 years
The Internet is there now plus the technology to run a radio or
tv service fairly cheaply, and there is satellite, digital multiplexes
and in some places cable to consider. Broadband will only get faster
most likely, it already being a very good medium for transmitting
and receiving live television and radio data, and the idea that
I could watch the locally produced "Six O'Clock News of Connah's
Quay" on a mobile phone sheer blows me away...
Keep it Live - Make it Digital - Keep it Local.
|As in all cases, if you have a comment or wish to discuss any
issues found on my web pages please contact me by all means.
Email: roy @ roynorry . com
March 1, 2007
Digital Roll-Out Gathers Pace
The digital highway is rolling out across the world so rapidly
now you can't fail to have noticed or been touched by it in some
way. It won't be long before the humble analogue wireless radio
people will be competing and maybe even swamped by the electronic
highway for their income and listeners. It must be mentioned here
though that advertising prophets commented in the press over 12
months ago they believe Internet radio broadcasters will have to
think in terms of much smaller niche markets and smaller audience
numbers on the Internet.
This 'audience expectation change' could be for reasons of diversity,
this being the key to the success of Internet radio as a whole
in my view. Internet radio must be cutting edge and radically different
in its approach to programming. Why?, because in effect there will
be so many online broadcasters out there that digital listeners
will do the equivalent of that which analogue listeners do presently
when they are looking for some decent radio listening..., they
tune around. There will be all sorts of radio available on the
Internet, much of it diversifying away from the pop, prattle and
blag of present day 'wireless' analogue commercial radio, hopefully.
What a play ground the Internet will be for the listeners when
Internet radio becomes on a par with analogue radio, or even surpasses
it in terms of popularity. Five, ten years tops? It's not that
long when you think about it. It was ten years ago when Don't Speak
- No Doubt was in the charts in the UK. It seems like yesterday
The Pod Cast revolution is making traditional radio programmers
sit up and think carefully as folks are moving towards making their
own radio shows now, and putting them out online for their listeners,
or turning their shows into pod cast for the ever popular I-pod
As you may have seen from the information on my digital radio page, more
and more internet radio sites are being placed online, and I can
tell you that some of them are being aggressively advertised or
'marketed' if you prefer. There are more and more traditional broadcasters
and publishers moving to the Internet out of choice now, and finally,
more and more companies seem to be excited about sponsoring and
funding online radio and digital communications.
"Now is the time", as Jimmy James and the Vagabonds said back
in 1976. However, it hasn't happened fully yet, but in the scenario
involving a big wave which starts as a ripple and gathers strength,
I think we are at the stage where the digital radio wave has begun
to roll over for the first time, as eager surfers prepare to ride
it with enthusiasm. Bring it on!
end, let me say that I enjoy the ability to get my online or digital
resources such as news, traffic, weather information and my musical
entertainment from the Internet. I can watch the BBC News headlines
and stories, I can sample the television cultures of other countries
with the click of a mouse button and I can watch the BBC Cornwall
local news on the satellite TV from the comfort of my living room
chair right here in Connah's Quay, North Wales as if I were right
there in Redruth. Nice. The only thing missing is a real Cornish
pasty. Bring on the digital replicator Captain Picard - I'm getting
hungry for more!