Drive to Digital event celebrates radio and audio progress

Drive to Digital 2019 took place this week at the British Library, hosted by broadcaster, Penny Smith. Here’s what happened..

The event celebrated the progress made by digital radio, highlighting the changing landscape for radio and audio, and attracted an audience of over 200 delegates from across the wider UK radio industry including national and local broadcasters, and representatives from retailers, manufacturers and the automotive sector.

The Drive to Digital conference agenda focused on the five key areas of digital development, consumers, content, cars, technology and audio on demand, delivered by an expert and diverse line-up of speakers.

The event featured presentations from the BBC, Global, Bauer, and Ofcom, and from a range of stations showcasing how digital innovation is enabling them to reach listeners, including talkSPORT; BBC Radio 5 Live; Scala Radio; Sunrise Radio; JACK Radio; Premier Christian Radio; and new small-scale DAB Manchester station, Rootz ‘n’ Rockerz.

The conference heard from Steve Henn of Google on their audio development strategy; from leading US broadcaster, Caroline Beasley of Beasley Radio Group; and from the UK’s No.1 radio manufacturer, Roberts Radio.

In a podcast session hosted by Matt Deegan, Co-founder of the British Podcast Awards, delegates heard from podcast production companies, Somethin’ Else and Muddy Knees, and from LBC’s Iain Dale who was in conversation with Ruth Fitzsimmons of Podfront UK, and comedian and writer, Sadia Azmat, on how and why podcasts are growing in popularity.

Drive to Digital 2019 concluded by recognising the ReelWorld Radio Academy 30 Under 30 Class of 2019, introduced by Radio Academy CEO John Dash and 30 Under 30 alumni, Reece Parkinson of BBC Radio 1 Xtra, and Abbie McCarthy, BBC Music Introducing.

Ford Ennals, CEO Digital Radio UK, said: “This year’s Drive to Digital conference has been a real celebration of the progress of digital radio and audio. The expert and diverse line-up of presenters emphasised the key theme that live radio remains robust and relevant, responding to the evolving market and the impact of the growth of smart speakers, podcasts, and the changing listening habits of young audiences.”

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1 Comment
  1. Mr Boltar says

    You’re quite right Ric Blaxill. music radio isn’t about artists, though it isn’t about feelings either – its about serving up beige background music and making a lot of money. As for Scala Radio being not being about professors , sorry – what? Whoever said it was? Perhaps you got it confused with an Open University podcast.

    Music radio is on the way out. Consolidation of local stations into national networks is only temporarily holding off its demise, not preventing it. When the current generation of kids become adults they won’t be tuning into anything global or bauer broadcast if they want music (speech radio is another matter) , they’ll be on the net.

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