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ftm Radio Page - week ending October 6, 2017

We have heard the future, artificial with app
human speech doomed, like everything else

Audio streaming is typically associated with music. And it’s very popular. Smartphones made it very, very popular, to the distress of traditional radio broadcasters.

From drama to comedy to news and sports, spoken word content streamed or downloaded to the ubiquitous hand-held accessory is also on the rise. The delivery process is commonly referred to as podcasts, sort of an offshoot of RSS, and named, obviously, for the Apple iPod. This past summer Apple stopped making iPods with the exception of the iPod Touch, the all-purpose player, camera and PDA. Anyway, smartphones can retrieve podcasts and other sorts of downloads and streams.

Podcasts have definitely hit the mainstream. In the last week or so Forbes had pieces on podcasts in business (October 2 and September 28) and PR (September 22). The New York Times (October 4) had a piece about podcasts as deliverer of bedtime stories and the Financial Times (September 29) had a piece on storytelling with podcasts generally. All point to the attention generated by the non-fiction audio series Serial, initially from US public broadcaster WBEZ. (See more about streaming media here)

Many radio broadcasters has assiduously avoided spoken word content over the last few decades. Speech content, of course, requires paying human beings to talk, very unpopular with the shareholders. The rise of music streaming services like Spotify also challenges radio broadcasters.

With a little help from tech-retail-media giant Amazon, the aforementioned Financial Times (FT) is joining the audio frenzy, reported (October 2). FT articles are being converted to speech with the Amazon Polly system, voice provided by Amy, one of several artificial voices available through the text to speech translator. The Washington Post began “experimenting” with Polly this past summer. The FT has a smartphone app for Amy’s news reports.

Employees in the dark as radio station "abandoned"
tangled tango

Radio broadcasting in Greece, along with the rest of the media sector, has been undergoing vast changes. News talk radio station Vima FM, serving greater Athens since 2009, has been operating under challenging circumstances since September 20th when electric power to the station was “cut,” other bills also unpaid. Greek media watchers have come to the conclusion that Vima FM has been "abandoned" by its new owner, Alter Ego Media, noted (September 28).

Greek shipping tycoon Evangelos Marinakis, through newly formed Alter Ego Media, succeeded in the bidding for the bankrupt Lambrakis Press Group in July. Assets included leading newspapers To Vima and Ta Nea, magazines, websites and radio station Vima FM. Earlier, nearly a year ago, Alter Ego Media was awarded a national terrestrial television license in a government auction meant to overhaul the “corrupt private broadcasting landscape,” as described at the time by Media and Digital Minister Nikos Pappas. In the Lambrakis Press Group auction Alter Ego Media obtained a 20% stake in TV channel Mega, which was denied renewal in the new license scheme. The entire process was a disaster, to be generous, with squabbles among owners, bidders, lawyers and politicians still unresolved. (See more about media in Greece here)

Vima FM has “severe liquidity problems,” said an unnamed source, quoted by (September 21). So far, Alter Ego Media has not returned the license, as specified by media regulator NCRTV when a radio station has been off the air for more than seven days. Other Greek radio stations - notably Sport FM and Party FM - have recently scaled back operations.

Radio Page week ending September 29, 2017
radio in France, Mediametrie, radio audience, RTL, France Inter, RMC, NRJ, Skyrock, radio in Belgium, radio licenses, local radio, SBS Radio, Hit FM, VBRO, Stadsradio Vlaanderen, TOPradio

Radio Page week ending September 22, 2017
radio in Norway, digital transition, DAB, Kantar TNS, radio in Germany, radio in Berlin, KCRW, NPR, mabb, AFN

Radio Page week ending September 15, 2017
streaming audio, workplace listening, music streaming, Spotify

Radio Page week ending September 8, 2017
radio in Germany, VPRT, IFA, radio in China, digital radio, Radio Television Hong Kong, BBC World Service

Radio Page week ending September 1, 2017
radio in Bulgaria, Z Rock, bTV Media Group, CME, Oberon Radio Max, radio in Norway, digital radio, DAB, radio in Switzerland, Swiss Radio Day

Radio Page week ending August 25, 2017
radio in Switzerland, radio brands, Radio Lac, Yes FM, Media One

Radio Page week ending August 4, 2017
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Radio Page week ending July 28, 2017
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Radio Page week ending July 21, 2017
radio in France, Mediametrie, RTL, France Inter, Europe 1, RMC, France Info, Fun Radio, radio in Switzerland, radio audience, Mediapulse, Radio Fiume Ticino, Radio3i

Radio Page week ending July 14, 2017
radio in Denmark, radio in Norway, digital radio, digital transition, DAB, FM shut-off

Radio Page week ending July 7, 2017
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