A report released by Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) and written by Professor Reg Coutts, finds that mobile broadband communications networks, particularly in regional areas, are not a replacement for broadcast free to air radio.
The report considers the potential for mobile networks to be expanded to a point where they are viable to accommodate all live free to air radio broadcasting at the same high quality to hundreds of thousands of listeners at the same time as a replacement for broadcast radio, and/or instead of rolling out DAB+ digital radio, which is currently available in the five major metropolitan cities.
The Coutts Report highlights that mobile networks in regional Australia are less cost effective compared to a potential DAB+ digital radio rollout in regional areas. Even with upgraded 4G networks using the most advanced LTE broadcast mode, there are technical and economic reasons for radio to be delivered using free to air broadcast technology in both regional and metropolitan areas.
Following the submission to the Federal Government’s Digital Radio Discussion Paper earlier in the year, to assist with future planning, and to introduce into the general discourse the reality of technical capability of both broadcast radio and mobile networks for mass live and local free to air radio delivery, the commercial radio industry commissioned highly respected telecommunications expert, Professor Reg Coutts of Coutts Communications, to analyse the use of mobile telecommunications to deliver free to air broadcast radio in Australia.
CRA chief executive officer, Joan Warner said: “There are a lot of misperceptions around the future of broadcast radio, mobile networks and the delivery of radio online and this report shows it may not yet, or even in the longer term, be technically or financially viable.
“Listening to radio online is complementary and not a replacement of broadcast radio, whether it’s analogue or digital. Listeners use streaming as a convenient alternative. The commercial radio industry is continually assessing technological innovation and economic viability. We recognise our listeners want to listen to radio wherever they are – in the car, at home, on their phone while in transit and as an industry we are constantly exploring the best way to achieve this.”
“Internet radio on smart phones by itself cannot substitute for broadcast radio. Broadcast digital radio is globally where innovation is happening. The Government is currently depriving regional listeners of digital radio unlike their city cousins who have both digital radio and internet radio. Innovative local radio broadcasters need broadcast digital radio which so necessary for regional communities to thrive in the future,” Professor Coutts said.
There are 220 commercial regional radio stations throughout Australia and, aside from questions over urban delivery, the report also suggests there is considerable uncertainty as to a plausible business model to support the upgrade of regional mobile networks from 3G to the most advanced form of 4G LTE Broadcast and it would also mean listeners would have to pay via their data plan for what they now can receive at no cost.
Importantly there would be significant impact on mobile cell capacity for other user’s applications (ie social media, internet browsing, video on demand etc) even if LTE Broadcast is able to be used to replicate broadcast radio’s live reach, robustness and quality.
The radio industry has rolled out digital radio in the five state metropolitan capitals and like the television industry, who have completely switched to digital, is looking to secure its digital broadcast future by continuing a phased rollout of broadcast digital radio to regional Australia.
The findings of this Australian study are consistent with recent European reports which show mobile networks complement broadcast radio, but are unlikely to replace it in the foreseeable future.
The full Coutts Report is available here.
Verizon Media’s talent program has come to an end for the third year, closing with a hybrid pitch-off event for Musicians Making A Difference (MMAD). The Verizon Media Academy class of 2021, made up of 44 emerging leaders from across Australia and New Zealand media, advertising and marketing industry, were given just one hour to […]
Social purpose organisation UnLtd’s Big Games competition has raised a combined $85,000 for children and young people at risk. Running over five weeks, the competition involved 32 teams from across the advertising, marketing and media industries battling it out virtually for a chance to qualify for the Rocket League final. The tournament culminated in a […]
Stan has announced that the Stan Original Film Transfusion commenced filming in Sydney earlier this week and will premiere on Stan in 2022. Transfusion is a taut, muscular thriller starring Sam Worthington (Avatar) as Ryan Logan, a former Special Forces operative, who is battling to cope with life after the loss of his wife and is thrust […]
According to a decade of data collected by iStock, Australian brands turned to imagery depicting outdated gender stereotypes during the pandemic. Tracking the keyword ‘women’, iStock by Getty Images found that in 2020, ANZ brands and businesses reverted to gender stereotypes. Images of mothers home-schooling were used at almost twice the rate of images of […]
Schwartz Media is congratulating Maddison Connaughton on her three years as editor of The Saturday Paper. Connaughton has decided to finish up her editorship this month. “It’s been an honour to edit the paper,” Connaughton said. “The Saturday Paper is one of the brightest voices in Australian media and I have been happy to see […]
Research from EdBbirdie using Spotify data has identified the most popular songs to study to. After analysing thousands of studying and homework playlists on Spotify, American singer Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘drivers license’ came out as top song to study to. It featured on 48 study playlists, while other top songs included ‘Ophelia’ by The Lumineers, ‘Falling’ […]
Dayna Stewart is the Business Director – Digital Marketing, Media & Creative Services at The Nudge Group. Here, she discusses the challenges that come with building a successful marketing team when working remotely. Before COVID-19 changed the way businesses work, most marketing teams spent their days together in a meeting room collaborating on the next […]
The line-up for the 2021 iHeartRadio Music Festival has been announced as the legendary event returns live in Las Vegas in September. This year, the epic two-day lineup for the iHeartRadio Music Festival main stage will feature performances by Billie Eilish, Cheap Trick, Coldplay, Dua Lipa, Florida Georgia Line, Journey, Khalid, Lil Baby, Maroon 5, Nelly, […]
Shop! ANZ is calling on shopper and retail marketing professionals from all retail related disciplines to participate in the first ANZ Shopper and Retail Marketing Industry Survey in four years. This important research provides a guide of where the retail marketing industry in Australia and New Zealand has come from and what is anticipated to […]