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What You Think

User Opinion Story
7 October 2020 - 1:59pm
agree wth heather. job well done radioinfo! Federal Budget implications for broadcasting sectors
7 October 2020 - 11:58am
I have covered budgets before and I know it takes a lot of work to ferret out all the details. Thanks for this accurate and detailed report, it's the best I have seen for the media sector anywhere. Federal Budget implications for broadcasting sectors
7 October 2020 - 8:55am
Just wanted to say thanks for the quick and clear post on the Federal Budget provisions for broadcasting - haven't seen anything like that anywhere else yet.
Federal Budget implications for broadcasting sectors
6 October 2020 - 11:50pm
If you think those 'other' shares are interesting, then check the Gold Coast GFK survey! Most of the Brisbane commercial stations are listed there. Imagine the size of the 'other' category if they weren't. Tracking down the missing radio shares
Anthony The Koala
6 October 2020 - 6:18pm
During the nascent growth of 5G, the speed of IP transmissions will be faster than the current NBN. However as demand increases for consumption of media via IP streams, whether audio and/or video streaming, the data rate speeds may deteriorate unless there the telecommunication providers increase the 5G capacity.

Consuming media via portable devices such as smart phones have parallels to the introduction of car radios (smaller valves) and the transistor radio. Portability of radios and smartphones means media can be consumed anywhere: the beach, the home, the car, the workplace and public transport. There are issues where consumption of media is not possible when commuting in car and rail tunnels. As discussed on this site, that problem is solved by installing translators rebroadcasting the signals in the tunnel from the outside. This may well apply for the re-transmission of IP streams via 5G (or 3G or 4G).

The distinction between broadcast and IP streaming is that there is no need to update the infrastructure of an AM/FM/DAB+ transmitter as demand increases. In contrast, as demand increases for consumption of media via IP streams, requires an increase in the number of IP servers. So broadcasting by conventional AM/FM/DAB+ is certainly cheaper than providing IP streams. It is true that AM/FM/DAB+ as well as FTA broadcasters provide IP streams of their FTA broadcasts. BUT other media services are exclusively served via IP streams - audio-on-demand (AOD) from podcasts and VOD from Stan, Netflix, Disney and Kayo to name a few.

The advantage of IP streams of broadcasts compared to RF transmisions is that one is not bound by the geographic and physical boundaries of the broadcaster's and consumer's geographic and physical areas. People outside Australia may well listen to broadcasts outside their geographic area which is not available by conventional means of broadcasting.

Nevertheless, the claims of faster speeds from 5G compared to the NBN may well be true especially at the nascent stage. In the future, many more people will be consuming their media via IP streams. Then will the telecommunications provider increase the capacity of the 5G service by installing more servers in order to maintain the guaranteed speed of the 5G service?
Thus increasing IP servers to maintain the quality of the 'promised' speed of the 5G service may well result in increasing costs for the telecommunications provider. The issue of economies of scale of producing IP servers for the telecommunications providers is another topic.

The other issue to consider is the consumption of media via IP streams. When comparing the price of low speed of dial-up internet to today's high speed internet, today's data plans are cheaper. BUT constant demand for high quality audio, HD and 4K video streaming costs money. A 200GB capacity per month plan may well be used before the month is out.

Consequently, when one is wanting to consume media from FTA broadcasters in the consumer's geographic area, it makes sense to consume the media from conventional AM (MW), FM (VHF) and DAB+(VHF) transmissions compared to IP reception. But this is for FTA broadcasts only.

When it comes to regional broadcasting, the current policy has been that in consideration of allocation of frequency spectrum and consultation with the ACMA, the broadcaster will convert to FM rather than DRM+ even with DRM+'s greater coverage, 'high' quality signal, text broadcasting and facility to inform the listener of emergencies.

The article's WorldDAB+ report on consumption of DAB+ does not inform us on whether the high percentage of DAB+ use was due to policy or consumer demand.

In another comment I made on this side, there is policy instability and variability in the implementation of digital broadcasting. These are: a compulsory analogue switch off in Norway of its NRK and major commercial services, the implementation of DRM+ on India's All Air India, the non-concrete policies of whether to broadcast in digital, to the withdrawal of DAB+ broadcasts in Canada and NZ. RNZ's DRM+ service is limited to Tonga even if RNZ's DRM signal has been received in Spain.

The motivations of each country's policy to implement a digital service such as DAB+, DRM+ and HD (US) and compulsory installation of DAB+ receivers in cars may well be a mixture of political and economic decisions.

AM and FM radios are ubiquitous and cheap. DAB+ transmissions may be possible in regional areas. DAB+ receivers are becoming ubiquitous. But as Mr St. John in comments on this site has said that DAB+ is more suitable in cities than rural areas.

Ultimately, Australia's no DRM+ policy does not depend on the ACMA. The ACMA may well be taking submissions from various parties on digital broadcasting as it did in 2019. But the determination of any policy submissions is based within the scope of the laws administered by the ACMA. Such laws are made by our Parliament.

To change the policy of not implementing DRM+ to implementing a DRM+ policy should be directed to and lobbied to the Members of Parliament who make the laws.

Thank you,
Anthony of critical Belfield.
Cumulative world DAB sales reach 93 million
Anthony The Koala
6 October 2020 - 3:56pm
I have mentioned this elsewhere on this site about the share of "other" services. It has grown from 2% in the 1970s to about 15-16% today. We don't know about the contributions made by community radio, streaming and commercial stations such as 2SM. For the latter there must be some other research that is used by the sales department in order to sell advertising time.

On the 29th September 2020, I listened to the 'Facebook' post by 2SM's Marcus Paul speaking to caller 'Stephanie' who were discussing the latest Gfk ratings, https://www.facebook.com/marcuspaulradio/videos/the-famous-stephanie/829310454526175/?__so__=permalink&__rv__=related_videos (copy from "https" to "related_videos" and paste in browser) and other issues such as the changes in the "Sydney share movement", that it costs $150000 for participating in the Gfk survey, as well as the 'missing' 15-16% .

Apart from the missing 15%-16%/'other stations', more research is needed to explain the anomaly between 2GB's high ratings and the "movements" statistic, given that Ben Fordham has contributed five months weighting of the figures for an overall rating of 14%.

I disagree with caller 'Stephanie' when she remarked the anomaly of Ben Fordham rating10% during drive, yet rated higher at breakfast at 17% (overall rating 14%) when Ben hosted breakfast. The same could be said for former presenters substituting for Alan Jones including Steve Price, Chris Smith and Jason Morrison. For the latter, Jason Morrison hosted 2UE breakfast and did not rate the same as when he was at 2GB.

The success of the breakfast program at 2GB has been generated by Alan Jones. It could well be said that Alan Jones has generated 'goodwill' over the 35 years. Looking at Marcus Paul's facebook page, he is also generating goodwill.

The next two surveys for 2020 may indicate whether the ratings at 2GB are sustained. The "Sydney share movement" may not be an indicator of where listeners have changed their listening habits. To illustrate, if 2GB's ratings are reduced by 2% in the next survey, how does one account for the 2%? Do all the 2% go to 2BL (702ABC) or RN or 'other 15%-16%' which includes 2SM and community radio? Alternatively do listeners go to music stations?

In sum, more research is needed in the missing/'other 15%-16% together with the share movement statistics.

Thank you,
Anthony of critical Belfield
Tracking down the missing radio shares
6 October 2020 - 12:30pm
It is interesting that the Australian receiver sales have stagnated.

I note that all the Pure brand digital radios and there was a wide range are now in clearance. A search for the UK and Australian websites is now fruitless. I am not surprised at this because of the huge mark ups the Australian retailers are putting on. There have been 92 million DAB+ radios made there is the volume production that Asia requires. Some EU countries are making DAB+ compulsory, so why are they so expensive.

I suggest the following reasons;
The ACMA has not run the www.myswitch.gov.au website program set for portable reception of DAB+ signals using values set by the European Broadcasting Union to find the real coverage black holes and then filled them with low powered repeaters. Reception must be as reliable as FM.

The ABC/SBS is busily promoting listening on line, mobile and on TV instead of using a DAB+ digital radio.

40 % of our population is in regional and remote areas where DAB+ has the smallest coverage area. DRM using the vacant old TV channels 0 - 2 will give much greater coverage and all of each broadcasters' programs can be carried on one transmitter per site. Currently there is no radio coverage at all to remote areas when not listening via the VAST fixed satellite system. High Frequency (SW) DRM can cover those areas with crystal clear stereo sound.

There are now single chip digital radio decoders which can decode DAB+ and DRM so no separate radios are required.

It needs to be remembered that digital broadcasting is the cheapest way of providing programs to large numbers of listeners compared to streaming for broadcasters and listeners.
Cumulative world DAB sales reach 93 million
3 October 2020 - 10:45am
Melbourne is the extraordinary market in the survey, not surprisingly. White collar workers have typically been working from home and the blue collar working classes have typically been working at the workplace as usual. Radio listening is less common at home and more common away from home, so 3AW and the ABC, stations with the highest proportions of listeners that listen in the home have done well. Stations that target white collar audiences like Gold and Smooth have taken a hit. Triple M's blue collar format has done quite well this survey and the contemporary hit music stations have taken a hit too with their younger audiences most affected and more confined to the house by lockdown and hospitality industry shutdowns. 3AW breakfast takes the numbers: Cumes Survey 6
Barr Johnston
29 September 2020 - 3:51pm
I worked with Bob during my first job in Australia at 2CH and 2GB. I loved every second with Bob. He's a good man and a generous soul. A thoughtful and decent human being. I have so much respect for Bob Rogers and the kindness and generosity he showed me. I wish you all the best for your future Bob, and hope there are still many more amazing accomplishments and joy with your family ahead.
Classic Hits 2CH Legend Bob Rogers announces his retirement
29 September 2020 - 2:57pm
I was one who switched off Ben Fordham for his banging on about face masks which the majority of his listeners were not wearing. I guess I was only one of a few, perhaps, to act on my convictions.

With respect to 2CH and its new owners' desire to throw money away, it is amazing that existing sport focussed stations receive miserable ratings and this new crowd think they can reverse that. Surely, they would die for their sport concept to achieve ratings presently achieved by Classic Hits 2CH.

There must be a lot of money to be wasted by investors in radio stations and a deep lack of understanding as to what listeners want.
Radio ratings survey 6: First results after Covid hiatus


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