Radio Days Conference – Day 1

I was definitely back in “work mode” today, as I attended “Radio Days Europe”. It’s the first ever meeting of commercial and public sector broadcasters in Europe. By a show of hands, it was 30/70 today.

It’s a conference I read about a few months ago, wrote to one of the organisers asking if they accepted registrations from outside Europe, and then after a few more emails was asked if I would like to participate in one of the forums. I’m speaking tomorrow at 12 noon.

Today I got to meet some of the people I’ve been corresponding with online, got to meet a lovely woman who runs local radio in Copenhagen, met some cool guys from Switzerland, and also to chat with a couple of people I’ve met previously.

And along the way, I tweeted and took far too many photographs to share here tonight. I’ll be revealing more to my colleagues back in Australia when I return. In the meantime, this is what I learned along the way through my various tweets.

85% of all uk listening inc mp3 is radio #radiodayseurope

One of today’s early speeches came from Tim Davie, Director Radio (despite his title) for the BBC, who explained there was room for optimism in radio, depsite concerns young people aren’t listening as much as they used to. He explained research showed that 85% of all listening time, which incuded mp3, CD, etc, was actually to radio.

Bbc radio emphasises content partnerships with tv museums #radiodayseurope

Tim Davie spoke about some of the content partnerships the BBC had entered into, including a terrific series about objects in the British Museum.

Uk radio player featuring both com and public radio #radiodayseurope

He also anticipated the common radio player, due to be released in Beta in the European summer, which allows for the BBC and the commercial sector to compete in an online environment.

Radio is no longer medium for new music trends (worry) #radiodayseurope

There was some worrying research, though, that radio was no longer the place where people went for new music.

New swedish radio website integrates player in site. Player is site is player.#radiodayseurope

The next presentation was from a woman involved in the re-design of the website for Swedish radio. She explained how they couldn’t see a reason for separating the website from the audio player, as often occurs with radio websites, so they have integrated the two in the design for their new site.

Love the idea of music hack day at swedish radio #radiodayseurope

One of the many things she spoke about was a day when they invited ordinary developers and hackers to come in to play with their music station websites. I think this sounds like such a great idea, a bit like they do with Google, WordPress and other companies I admire.

New uk player based on mp3 and aac to deliver flash#radiodayseurope

And then Nick Piggott spoke about the new common radio player for the web in the UK.

New uk radio player seeks to be google for radio #radiodayseurope

He explained they wanted it to be like google for radio, and that when you went looking for a song or an event, you would – thanks to the metadata – be able to find it straight away. He explained that if you went looking for Janet Jackson (goodness knows why) you should be able to find the radio station that would player her next.

Sat with group of danish local radio managers for lunch. World too small. #radiodayseurope

Over lunch I sat with a group of people doing a similar job to my own. The woman from Copenhagen described her station which sounded not unlike 702 ABC Sydney.

Teens blur the line between production and consumption of media #radiodayseurope

We then heard some further research about how young Swedes, in particular, use radio. The research, done mostly through participant observation, revealed that young people “produce” all of their lives.

Love the concert of creating faceradio as in facebook #radiodayseurope

And the researcher offered that we should be creating a Facebook of radio, not putting ourselves on Facebook. We need something as revolutionary as Facebook to create radio as a space where young people want to be.

Love idea of italian radio show with teen reporters around the world and only indie music. #radiodayseurope

We then heard from a bloke from Italian radio who spoke about the listener involvement of his audience. Even though he is 37 and his co-host 51, they have an active audience or 15-24 year olds who act as “citizen journalists” reporting for the program from around the world.

Danish youth station p5000 operates with three hosts on two hour loop. Lots of club sounds. #radiodayseurope

And from there, it was a speaker who talked about a new Danish radio station that employs just three hosts, one of whom he described as Denmark’s answer to Paris Hilton, but with larger breasts.

Radio needs to be confident and aggressive with government about digital radio standards says bbc bloke #radiodayseurope

The next segment had me really confused, as a group of people spoke about the digital roadmap for Europe. At the moment, in something straight of “Yes Minister”, the panel described the different competing platforms in different countries. The bloke from BBC said they needed to agree on a common standard, a hybrid of DAB and IP (he said the UK has missed the boat on DAB+), and actively promote it domestically. While it would be good to have the EU behind it, he argued, there was more to be gained from having the political debate locally.

Head spinning after digital radio for europe discussion. Lot to be said for island nation continent. #radiodayseurope


Digital ghetto speaker says he is going to make people angry with his views. #radiodayseurope

The next speaker from Finland told the organiser just before he started he would challenge a lot of people’s views and make them angry, as he described the lost opportunities with digital radio. He said, they should have pursued the path of CD technology, where Phillips and Sony (on two continents) worked together. Did he make them angry?

He didnt #radiodayseurope

And finally, there was panel of how music radio could compete with Spotify. Unfortunately, there was no one from Spotify on the panel, and no one on the panel actually appeared to be from a country where Spotify operates.

Unlike spotify etc music radio remains human says danish p3 head. #radiodayseurope

And finally, a comment about why music radio remains important when people have ipods.

Mass radio important because people want things to talk about says ken benson #radiodayseurope

Wow. What a day. I enjoyed it immensely.

Great day. Now for a beer. #radiodayseurope

And there was a official reception tonight at the Town Hall which was a very nice vanue.


4 Replies to “Radio Days Conference – Day 1”

  1. great written and very interesting read james, Im surprised no one from Spotify was there ?? , have to talk to them, that bad :-)

    1. I’m sure they will be as impressed and stimulated by what you have to say tomorrow as you were by the presentations today. So glad you are enjoying it so much.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: