08 giugno 2009

UK: sul DAB e online Amazing, la radio DIY

Il canto degli uccelli trasmesso sul multiplex DAB britannico Test B di Digital 1 (una storia di cui avevo parlato qui) è stato sostituito da Amazing Radio una nuova stazione interattiva che utilizza il DAB accanto ai canali streaming di Internet per veicolare anche on air il concetto di social radio. Amazing Radio è forse uno dei primi esempi di radio interattiva e partecipativa che si può ascoltare con un ricevitore non-Internet. Il progetto ruota intorno a un sito Web, Amazing Tunes, dove DJ, cantanti e gruppi musicali possono costruire un loro flusso e metterlo in onda (prendendosi il 70% dei ricavi dai successivi download a pagamento) e dove il semplice ascoltatore può selezionare i brani da ascoltare in un esperimento di radio on demand che potrebbe darci, finalmente, una seria indicazione sui reali potenziali di sostenibilità dei nuovi modelli di radio 2.0 in un pubblico sostanzialmente 1.0. Dal successo - o dall'insuccesso - di Amazing Radio potrebbe dipendere il futuro di tecnologie come il DAB.
Il canale innovativo è in onda dal primo giugno e questo è il comunicato ufficiale. Ideatore dell'iniziativa è Paul Campbell, musicista e conduttore radiofonico. Possibile aver dovuto attendere metà 2009 per vedere - e ascoltare - una cosa del genere?
What's on the radio today? You decide!

A digital innovation in radio launches today: the world’s first interactive radio station. Since it’s also the world’s first station playing 100% new music and the first whose presenters are new to radio, it’s no wonder it’s called amazing.

Amazing Radio starts a 6-month pilot on Digital One’s national DAB digital radio network, replacing the birdsong which has kept the transmitters warm for the past year. Instead of a restful dawn chorus, music fans can now awaken to the sound of brand new indie, urban, rock, jazz and pop music. It’s an incredible diversity of songs, all new, all written and recorded by unsigned artists outside the conventional music industry.
The artists uploaded their music to ethical website amazingtunes.com over the past four years. amazingtunes.com gives artists a legal, global means to sell their music, receiving 70% of download revenues. Launched in 2006, the site now contains around 15,000 tracks and has a global audience of around 35 million people. The launch of Amazing Radio is the first phase in a bold expansion by the company behind Amazing Radio, The Amazing Media Group.
“There’s fantastic music on amazingtunes.com”, says Amazing founder, former BBC Producer and long term musician Paul Campbell, “and our ‘ethical downloads’ give musicians the chance to make money from the songs they wrote and recorded. But we wanted to go further, to find new ways to get their talent noticed. It’s normally impossible for new artists to get onto big radio stations. So we made our own”.
As well as new music, Amazing Radio – which will broadcast nationally to millions of people on digital radio - will feature new presenters – ‘unsigned voices’, who upload a demo voice track to amazingradio.co.uk. And, in a further innovation, Amazing Radio will be interactive, with playlists chosen by the listening audience. “When I was a BBC producer, I decided what got on the air” continues Campbell. “I don’t see why that should be the case in the digital age. We’ll moderate for taste and decency and make sure nobody accidentally breaks the law, but other than that, it’s hands off. Amazing Radio is democratic radio. So what you hear today is only the beginning. It’ll change massively as it goes on. I can’t wait to see what happens. It could be amazing”.
Digital One’s Acting Chief Executive, Glyn Jones, welcomed the launch. “We started a process at the beginning of the year to attract new stations to the national airwaves. But Amazing Radio is more than just another radio station and another step towards a full multiplex. It promises to be innovative both in terms of its content and business plan. And over the six month fixed term that it’s on air, it’s going to create some noise and some waves.” (If Amazing Radio doesn't come up in your choice of stations, select "Birdsong".)

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