Radio is Dead claims Futurist at Radiodays

The talking points from Radiodays Europe includes smart speakers taking over the world, the death of DAB and even the end of radio as we know it.

But away from the sensational headlines, are a number of important points about the direction radio will go in the next decade.

Smart Speakers – namely Alexa – is the fastest growing technology to hit our industry, and was mentioned in most sessions. Alexa is even part of the imaging on Z100 New York. Creative Director Staxx Williams has all his celebrity guests talk to Alexa asking to play Z100. Getting the command in listeners minds first will help them win the smart speaker space.

Ben Hammersley (Futurist, Contributing Editor, Wired, and Principal of Hammersley Futures, UK), claimed Radio is Dead but audio is going strong. “We know from our own behaviour, let alone consumers, we’re going to buy an iPhone 12 – we’re not going to buy a DAB radio,” he said before displaying the slide above about the death of radio.

Ben is the Editor-at-large of digital publication WIRED, and claims to be the inventor of the world Podcast, so we should take some notice of his predictions on trends and technology. “This is the first time in history that our tools have got twice as good in a year – we have come to terms with this” said Ben.

“As we constantly move towards the future, radio itself is probably dead, but audio is not. We are living through a golden age of audio, more people are listening that ever before and the diversity of programme is better than ever.

“So what should broadcasters do to take advantage of this golden age? We need to adapt legacy free technology and reinvent our processes – the world is ours for the taking!”

The opening session included BBC Director of Music Bob Shennan who threw the doors wide open on the DAB debate once again. He stated that now is not the right time for a switchover, and more work must be done by the entire industry before the UK starts thinking about any DAB-only future.

Advice during the many sessions ranged from the best bit rates for your podcast to which radio promotions to run on your station or network to generate the most interest. 1600 delegates from 60 countries attended. There were 130 speakers, 60 sessions and 60 exhibitors. Oh, and Midge Ure sang Vienna in the main room after a spot of lunch on day 2!

The Radiodays Europe media team has been creating dozens and dozens of content around the event, along with attending press, and we’ve included a small selection below. To see the live twitter feed, see and visit RadiodaysEurope on Facebook.

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1 Comment
  1. Willie Bone says

    How many times over 50 years or more have I heard that comment, “radio is dead!”
    Mind you, it could be the near death of the radio set as a stand-alone tuner, but radio as a service of programme delivery is likely to live on!
    If you think about it, the long term demise of the radio set probably started away back in the early 60s with radiogram (combi) units! Radio then reinvented itself in the computer age to be piggy-backed on to other services, including PC, tablet and mobile phones.
    Terrestrial digital radio and television systems could struggle economically through the 2020s, as modern day multifunctional infrastructure of service delivery is established, including 5G!
    Also, the local DAB ‘Step 2’ relay expansion plan is gong to be an eye watering expense, bringing DAB signal reception to areas with more sheep than people in remote parts of the UK!
    5G mobile tests for BBC radio carriage is interesting because the prototype services are located in rural areas of Orkney, Shropshire and Somerset! The process of a rural service rollout to cities and towns could be very exciting with 5G radio reception, especially in places where DAB radio signal may never reach, but tourists can reach!
    Time will tell..

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