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Interactive experiences through digital radio and 5G

Imagine you are listening to the radio, and the station plays a new song that catches your ear. You are moved. It is exciting. And you want to know more. You look at your radio, and it is syncing with additional information about the song, lyrics, the artist’s bio, and a link to the music video. You select the lyrics, start the video, and sing along. You purchase tickets to the next concert.

Or you are intrigued by the latest radio talk show. It stimulates your curiosity. You think, Tell me more! And the radio is already syncing to additional content about the topic. The latest news reports. You choose to read about all sides of the story in a blog. Then check out an archive of podcasts.

Or you really like the radio show or appreciate the playlist. Why not send the jock a direct message from your radio or connect via social media. Let your friends know you are listening to this great program, and invite them to share the moment. Create a listening party with your friends.

What an interactive experience! How can radio deliver so much information?

This may sound like the future of radio. But it is a future that will soon be reality.

Content discovery
Broadcast is an efficient way to reach millions of listeners simultaneously with content (news, sports, talk, music/entertainment). IP connections provide the best access to curated content and personal experiences. So how can the best of both be combined? This is the idea of hybrid radio or connected radio. The latest digital radio transmission technologies allow broadcasters to simultaneously send additional metadata or URLs with the audio program. 4G and 5G networks then provide the conduit to the internet and the millions of sites with additional information.

Digital radio provides the backbone of broad market notification. The new digital broadcast technologies convert analogue radio transmission to a series of 1s and 0s, which can carry all sorts of information including digitized audio, text information, program metadata, and other digital data features. Couple this rich transmission service and expanded content with existing IP and 5G networks, and your radio becomes connected to a vast resource of information to meet your needs. With a connected radio device (car, phone, etc.), a listener can personalize their radio experience based on specific interests or requests for additional information.

These technology integrations are achievable today, and integrated hybrid radio solutions are now available in Europe and North America. Connected radio platforms from Daimler and Audi are available to car drivers looking for personalized experiences. While the features and applications are currently showcasing radio station and program information, future upgrades and product releases will feature song lyrics, deep track data, playlist and album recommendations, and more personalized content discovery.

The personalized experience starts at the radio station. Through studio automation tools, broadcasters link their programs and playlists to the existing metadata databases or create their metadata and keywords. The station may even provide URLs to their web page of validated and authorized news sources and relevant information. Software at the studio then populates the digital radio signal with this rich metadata for broadcast to the connected radio device. This metadata enables personalized experience through access to more information and e-commerce sites via IP and wireless services. It is up to the device app to present the data to enable access to additional content and the personalized experience. Today, this extra content can be conveyed through uni-cast IP services and will be significantly enhanced with faster connectivity through 5G.

From a news or information perspective, the radio station can convey the core headlines or short news broadcast, while metadata and URLs will connect the listener directly to visual news or additional articles on the topic.

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