RAIN publisher Hanson in Berlin for sold-out Radiodays Europe

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 1:00pm

RAIN publisher Kurt Hanson is in Berlin to report on the Radiodays Europe conference, which wraps up today.

Radiodays Europe
, held annually (now in its fourth year), brings leaders from public service and commercial radio as well as related industries from across Europe (and the world). The conference is Europe's largest (sold out with more than 1,200 attendees) and likely most important radio gathering.

The event is taking place at the Berliner Congress Center (BCC) in the fashionable Alexanderplatz district (just a couple of blocks from the landmark Berlin TV Tower). That's actually not far from the nHow hotel, which hosted our own RAIN Summit Europe gathering last October.

Conference organizers/founders Anders Held (Project Manager, Sweden) and Rolf Brandrud (Project Manager, Norway) staged 52 sessions across four auditoriums, featuring more than 100 speakers for the events two full days. In fact, some of these speakers will join us for RAIN Summit West in Las Vegas on April 7, or RAIN Summit Europe in Brussels May 23.

Kurt Hanson reports on some of the highlights:

For the panel "The Executives: Sharing Radio's Future," four top-level radio execs gave a short keynote speech, then held a discussion about radio's future. See more here.

The "Spotify - Friend or Foe?" panel included Edison Research president Larry Rosin (who'll speak at RAIN Summit West) and addressed the question of whether radio should work with online music platforms, or strictly compete against them. More here.

UK-based "Radio futurologist" James Cridland moderated the "Hybrid Radio – FM, DAB+ and IP all together" panel, which also featured UK Radioplayer's Michael Hill (a previous RAIN Summit speaker). They discussed the enhancement of traditional radio by way of new technology. More here.

For the "Keys to the second life of speech radio" panel, NextRadio and TV/VP Frank Lanoux (Paris) and WDR Sports editor Marcus Tepper (Cologne) discussed why the future of radio might be speech, not music. Read more here.

Hanson reports several key points gleaned from attending these discussions. First, that digital radio, in separate-band DAB and DAB+ versions (as opposed to the U.S.'s in-band on-channel "HD Radio" approach), is having so significant an impact in some European countries, that some are even considering an FM shut-off later this decade.

Several of the panels discussed the "Euro-Chip" initiative, which is similar to our "FM chip" initiative. That is, a lobbying effort hoping to legislate the requirement of analog and DAB receivers in all future connected devices.

Internet radio in Europe, on the other hand, is growing more slowly than it is here in the U.S. That's seems likely to be due to the lack of available statutory music licenses in most European countries, and the slower development of "personalized radio" platforms, like Pandora.

You can experience more of Radiodays Europe via video and audio coverage of a selection of sessions, which should be available on the conference website within the next several days.

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