Despite the increase in platforms such as Deezer, Apple Music or Spotify, the most popular way to discover new music remains the radio.
Listening online via a computer or smartphone grows in popularity each year and, in turn, allows internet radio stations to expand their audience.
But how do they match up to DAB, in terms of new supports and ways in which people listen to music? Here’s RadioKing’s analysis of what the future holds for radio.
Internet radio versus DAB
Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) is a ‘multiplexing’ transmission method that allows multiple programs to be broadcast on one frequency, unlike FM technology, which only allows for one program per frequency.
DAB’s goal is to replace FM broadcasting and become the future of radio.
Some industry experts are wary of this new transmission method.
Even though it may not affect online radio, it’s receiving a backlash from traditional radio enthusiasts, who aren’t happy to see the end of FM broadcasting.
DAB won’t negatively impact on online radio stations, which are designed for global coverage and not limited to a specific geographical area. And this is where the difference between DAB and internet radio stations lies.
However, this method of transmission could benefit internet radio stations that want to develop local coverage and keep up to speed with FM radio stations.
Will future radio be visual?
Doesn’t adding visuals to radio make it just like TV? Modern society is image-obsessed, so radio can maintain its individuality by not following suit. From the very beginning, the advantage of radio has been its ability to boost the imagination via the content being broadcast. Adding images to its content could make it lose its charm and scar the future identity of radio itself.
Even so, radio can benefit from adopting other ways of communicating and diffusing new content to attract on-air listeners (YouTube videos, website news, podcasts, social networks …).
Car radios in the future.
Recent studies in the US show a huge growth in online radio listeners.
This expansion is a direct result of the ongoing evolution of internet radio in the modern world.
The creation of mobile apps for smartphones and tablets, plus the development and adaptability of web radio across social networks, is turning internet radio into the airwaves of the future.
You may think that listening to internet radio in your car is impossible?
It was – before the arrival of connected cars, which since 2014 have opened up a field of opportunities for internet radio. The future of radio is the connected car and no longer a DAB receiver that you have to install yourself.
As with FM, internet radio stations will be broadcasting to listeners in their cars! By simply connecting a smartphone to a CarPlay or Android Auto compatible screen, your listeners can tune in to your station from their car.
RadioKing’s plan is to allow all of its clients access to the connected car applications.
In the future, radio will be everywhere.
The possibilities are endless and will continue to multiply.
The consoles, connected watches and TV’s that we use every day will be just another way in which radio stations can broadcast and increase their audience numbers.
Since its creation, radio has continually evolved with the times. From pirate stations during the 1960s to the launch of the first internet radio stations in the 2000s, this is a media that has always kept up to date with advances in technology.
Whichever way you look at it, radio is and will remain a simple, direct way to capture the hearts of its listeners.
To wrap up, we suggest you check out ‘The Future of Digital Radio’ by Aymen Benali.
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Terrestrial radio is the technical term for radio signals that are transmitted by a terrestrial station. You can think of it as any radio signals that travel on the surface of the Earth.