Appraising 20 years of digital radio in Europe

The book provides a comprehensive review of the complex environment in which digital radio in Europe and elsewhere now operates. The book has a critical foreword by Paddy Scannell.

The original political vision which gave rise to digital radio, particularly in the form of DAB or Eureka 147, is critically examined and contextualised. Studies of individual markets and regions identify the different strategies that have been adopted and compare contexts in which digital radio has had a measure of relative success against those in which digital deployments have demonstrably failed.

Section A – Technologies of Digital Radio
Section A examines the different technologies of digital radio delivery and reception, their origins and social implications. Contributions examine the development of the Eureka 147 standard within the context of a European public service vision for broadcasting; competing platforms and their distinct attributes; and current trends towards convergence and multimedia broadcasting. Individual studies include:

1. The Technological Landscapes of Radio: reviewing competing approaches to digitalisation in radio
2. A Vision for radio. The origins and evolution of Eureka digital audio broadcasting
3. Missing Pictures? Strategies and solutions of broadcast radio visualization
4. Sounding the future’ – promotional discourses of digital radio’s audiophile credentials

Section B – Industries and Contexts
Section B includes a series of detailed analyses of industry approaches, regulatory and policy regimes, and strategies adopted towards digitalisation of radio. Individual research-based studies include the following:

5. DAB: the future of radio? The development of digital radio in four European countries
6. Public radio in Europe: policies and strategies towards digital radio
7. Future scenarios for the radio industry: Expert perspectives
8. Digital radio strategies in North America: a comparative study of technology and policy in the transition to digital radio

Section C – Cultures of Participation and Consumption
Section C examines the distinct cultures of production and consumption that have arisen in the context of digital radio and explore ways in which digital radio can enhance listener experiences, improve audience access and participation and contribute to a more democratic communications environment. Individual chapter titles include:

9. The Next Generation Platform: Democratic Access in Sound Media
10. Community Media/Community Radio and Participation
11. Audience experiences of participation: a comparative study of Norway, Portugal and Ireland
12. ‘The iPod Generation’: exploring youth audiences’ changing patterns of consumption for radio and other audio media platforms