SWR and TTP to revolutionise digital radio in Germany
March 5th, 2008

Geman public broadcaster Sdwestrundfunk (SWR) has selected The Technology Partnership (TTP) to join the Future Radio project which will trial innovative new visual interactive radio services in Germany. The Future Radio project will start its first trial in Stuttgart this summer. SWR and TTP will present the aims of the Future Radio project to broadcasters and operators at CeBIT in Hannover, 4-9 March 2008. Under the Future Radio project SWR and TTP will work to define an open service delivery specification that enables new visual, interactive and download services on any digital radio receiver. These services will enable mobile phone users to listen to digital radio and to view, navigate and store visual content, such as images, slides, weather information, music tracks and podcasts which are broadcast in association with radio stations.

TTPs nanoDAB accessory, the worlds first Bluetooth headset accessory with built-in DAB digital radio, and mobile phone software will provide the test platform for the trial. nanoDAB was publicly unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona a few weeks ago where it received excellent feedback from both broadcasters and mobile operators.

Martin Orrell, General Manager, Digital Media at TTP commented: German digital radio services have thus far struggled to reach a mass audience, but TTP believes that SWR is the pioneer to make this happen, much like the BBC did in the UK, by adding digital-only radio content. SWR has the vision and innovation to drive delivery to Germanys critical younger audience and this will also lead to new revenue opportunities for commercial broadcasters. A key vehicle for this will be our nanoDAB Bluetooth and DAB hands-free mobile phone accessory.

Bernhard Hermann, SWR Director of Radio Programmes commented: A radical rethink of digital radio services is required to captivate the younger audience and penetrate mass market appeal in the future. The Future Radio project aims to do this by giving 500 young trialists the ability to give feedback on what content is engaging to them and how it should be delivered. Whereas traditional radio is normally a one-way medium with occasional feedback our trial aims to actively encourage users take part in creating exciting services.

The team believes visual, interactive and rich multimedia services will stimulate the evolving listening habits of young consumers and will help position digital radio on mobiles as a viable broadcast medium offering new areas for public service broadcasters and their wealth of public value content as well as revenue opportunities for commercial radio stations and network operators, who can offer their commercial services. These will include mass advertising through downloadable special offers and coupons, as well as a range of value-added content services requiring user interaction, for example competitions, music charts, shopping, voting and user generated content.

(Source: TTP/SWR)