ERCIM/W3C is participating in HRADIO (Hybrid Radio everywhere for everyone), a new EU-funded project (Innovation Action) that started in September 2017. It focuses on radio service innovations enabled by convergence. While radio, with its rich editorial content, remains a highly popular medium, listening figures are slowly declining, particularly among youngsters. With the rapid rise of smartphones, radio faces competition from many new services including music steaming platforms. Regular radio today often does not include attractive features as known from online platforms. And if present, they are mostly not well integrated with the actual radio programme. This is where HRADIO will deliver.
Driven by the industry need to create attractive new radio experiences, the project will leverage the potential of hybrid technology for radio, enabling the integration of cost-effective broadcast distribution with the web. Broadcasters will be enabled to personalise radio services (while respecting privacy), to provide intuitive functionalities like time-shifting and, eventually, to foster and to exploit user engagement. HRADIO will pave the way to bring these features not only to broadcasters’ native mobile applications, but also to portals, to connected radios and into the car. The core approach is to integrate validated solutions and to harmonise APIs which together will provide broadcasters with an abstracted service layer accessible across any device and distribution platform – ensuring sustainability and return of investment. Therefore, consumers will be able to access their personal radio services on different devices and platforms enabled by a seamless broadcast-internet integration for radio content distribution. Eventually, HRADIO will publish its developments as ready-to-use Android and HTML client implementations.
W3C will lead the standardisation activities of the project, working with partners to align modelling and main technical tasks with relevant standards, and to identify and specify possible extensions to standards from which the project would benefit. W3C will thus contribute to the definition of scenarios and requirements, the overall system architecture and specifications. W3C will also lead the management of innovation, dissemination, communication and exploitation plan work package of the project.
The project has a duration of 30 months from 1 September 2017 to 29 February 2020 with an overall budget of 3,25 Mio Euro. Project partners include VRT, Belgium; Institut für Rundfunktechnik GmbH, Germany; Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany; GEIE ERCIM France; RBB, Germany; Konsole Labs GmbH, Germany; UK Radioplayer Ltd.