Innovation processes in radio and audio media

We suspect that although the radio medium has been extended in technical terms it may not have been substantially changed or improved in editorial terms. The established media tries to apply their old expertise on the new platform, and are less enthusiastic about exploiting the communicative novelties that it harbours uniquely, for example the radical opportunities for public participation that comes along with the internet. It is illustrative that the enthusiasm for audiovisual networking sites like YouTube and MySpace is not catered well to by the established European radio stations.

We analyse the innovation strategies in European digital radio with a three-sided metod: 1) We have a contemporary history perspective which covers the emergence of digital and online radio in Europe and North America from the 1980s to the 2010s; 2) We have interviewed industry people in Northern Europe about journalistic/editorial strategy, business models, electronics and manufacture, and commercial and public service; 3) We organize our results in a comparative perspective, and the main countries are UK, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland and Norway. Relying on this method, DRACE has solid empirical backing of our claims about digitalization and differentiation in radio during the last twenty years.

We have five ongoing empirical projects that deal with the innovation processes in radio:

Stephen Lax: “A vision for radio. The origins and evolution of Eureka digital audio broadcasting”.

Per Jauert: “From Broadcasting to Podcasting – the digitalization and differentiation of radio”.

Marko Ala-Fossi: “Missing pictures? Strategies and solutions of broadcast radio visualization”.

Brian O’Neill: “‘Sounding the Future’ – promotional discourses of digital radio’s audiophile credentials”.

Lars Nyre: “GPS in radio: an editorial strategy for adding visual information to live audio on the mobile phone”.