Broadcasting is being redefined

IEEE-BTS Symposium helps tech leaders keep an eye on the horizon

The author is a member of the IEEE BTS Adcom.

Roz clark

Radio must stay tuned to technological advances and meet the expectations of its consumers. The IEEE-BTS Symposium, held in October, can help.

Much has changed in radio over the past decade. Technologies that were first seen as a threat to traditional terrestrial broadcasting, such as social media, audio streaming, multimedia, portable portable devices, etc., are now being adopted by broadcasters to expand their broadcasting footprint. and Pull listeners closer to their brand and content, rather than to push in alternative delivery paths.

What follows is a brief overview of what has happened in the recent past and what lies on the horizon for broadcasters in this era of rapid technological growth. Some examples of how innovative broadcasters are turning these technological challenges into opportunities are also mentioned.


Looking back from the listener’s point of view, it is fair to say that over 10 years ago, “advanced” mobile devices were essentially cell phones capable of receiving e-mail and perhaps listen to downloaded audio files. Such devices were not as widespread as they are today.

During this period, broadcasters were just beginning to conduct exploratory efforts with Internet services. Websites were rolled out and audio streaming was just starting to take hold.

The expansion of cellular 4G and rapid advancements in the capabilities of mobile devices ultimately led to rapid growth in application development, resulting in considerable growth challenges for the radio industry. Broadcasters have faced the challenge of staying up to date with technology and finding ways to use these new tools in a way that is beneficial, rather than detrimental, to their core business.


Clearly, the radio stations that have been successful in maintaining their relevance to consumers are the ones that have effectively implemented social media as a means of listener engagement. Audiences have been shown to increase when stations interact with their audience on social media, share interesting content online, and even “tweet live” while on air. Interaction with social media has played a key role in creating a new listening experience and has been well received in the market.

Beyond that, we are also seeing advancements in media streaming methods directly related to traditional audio streaming. For example, a video producer may create additional live video content while the traditional program is being broadcast. In this scenario, the integration of social media, online chat rooms, and additional images or video clips are added to the online media channel to enhance what is broadcast through traditional means, thereby creating a rich media experience.

While the basic content or audio streaming is the same, the online media experience is much richer and accessible via fixed or mobile devices, creating a whole new level of engagement for listeners. The modern consumer has grown to expect such additional content, especially in an age when information and additional content is easily accessible via the keyboard and, more recently, voice control.

Although radio has stood the test of time, like all entertainment media, it must keep pace with technological advances and meet the expectations of its consumers.

The IEEE Broadcast Technology Society plays a key role – through symposia, conferences, white papers, etc. Technology.

In doing so, the company best serves the industry to ensure that engineers and technology leaders have the most recent and detailed technological knowledge. Understanding current challenges and future technological developments informs decision makers to plan for wise and viable investments in broadcast infrastructure resulting in customer loyalty and contributing to continued business success.

The 2017 IEEE-BTS Symposium will be held October 10-12 at the Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. For more information visit

Roswell “Roz” Clark is Senior Director of Radio Engineering for Cox Media Group and a member of the IEEE BTS Adcom. He has chaired several committees for Cox including Broadcast – IT Security, Automation Standardization, RF Safety Policy and Broadcast Data Transmission. He is its technical representative in the Broadcasters’ Traffic Consortium, the National Association of Broadcasters Radio Technical Committee, the Nielsen Technical Advisory Committee and the National Radio Systems Committee.

Comments are closed.