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The Social Shaping of European Digital Radio

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Presentation held on September 25th at The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden.
Dissertation of the homologous Master thesis available at:https://www.academia.edu/16235641/The_Social_Shaping_of_European_Digital_Radio

Veröffentlicht in: Leadership & Management
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The Social Shaping of European Digital Radio

  1. 1. THE SOCIAL SHAPING OF EUROPEAN DIGITAL RADIO Master Thesis Project (M.Sc.) in Media Management School for Computer Science and Communication Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm, Sweden Matteo Campostrini Supervisor: Prof. Nina Wormbs Examiner: Prof. Haibo Li
  2. 2. WHY?
  3. 3. Radio Broadcasting a hundred years and still young!
  4. 4. Radio Broadcasting free at the point of use equality and democracy
  5. 5. RESEARCH QUESTIONS
  6. 6. RESEARCH QUESTIONS Main research question: What are the affordances of 
 digital radio standards in Europe in 2015, 
 exemplified by DAB/DAB+, DRM and IP/Internet? 
 Sub-questions: What implementation and development lines have been negotiated in Europe? What discourses around the different standards can be discerned? 

  7. 7. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
  8. 8. THE SOCIAL SHAPING OF TECHNOLOGY • Technologies are socially and historically contingent in their implementation and design • Technologies are determined among the possible technical options as a result of a selection process, which does not entails purely technical factors, but social considerations influence the content of technologies. • Technology does not emerge from the influence of a single dominant logic or determinant, but its development trajectories are manifold, leading to potentially different outcomes. • In their diversity the final technologies have different implications for society and more importantly for different social groups belonging to it.
  9. 9. –Williams, R. and Edge, D. (1996). “Technology does not develop according to an inner technical logic, but is instead a social product, patterned by the conditions of its creation and use”
  10. 10. THE SOCIAL SHAPING OF TECHNOLOGY shape the technology 
 towards their ends bargaining power faceted set of possible outcomes Negotiability
  11. 11. THE SOCIAL SHAPING OF TECHNOLOGY achievement of a consensus by different groups increasing stabilization different closure types Closure
  12. 12. SCOT THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF TECHNOLOGY Interpretative Flexibility “points in which ambiguities are present” different parallel development trajectories “Why some technical options prevailed over the others?”
  13. 13. SCOT THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF TECHNOLOGY “Outwards analysis”: From the technology to the selection environment The aim is to relate the content and interpretations of a technology to a complex socio-economic and political context
  14. 14. THE CONCEPT OF AFFORDANCES • Affordances are links between perception and action upon attributes of an artefact • Affordances are subordinated to their perception • Affordances are perceived differently according to culture, social environment, experiences, expectations and intentions of the perceiver
  15. 15. AN EXAMPLE OF AFFORDANCES “Affordances point to the interaction between object and actor,
 hence they refer both to the object’s and actor’s attributes” HORIZONTAL PLATE HANDLES afford pushing VERTICAL BAR HANDLES afford pulling
  16. 16. SCOT AS METHODOLOGY 1. Selection of the competing technologies 2. Selection of the social groups for which there is a relevant “problem” or contingent issue 3. Selection of sub-groups with specific requirements 4. Examination of the conflicting technical requirements, conflicting solutions and other conflicts highlighting interpretative flexibility 5. Examination of the stabilization process: arguments brought by different social groups in support of their solutions 6. Examination of solutions that achieve closure.
  17. 17. ANALYSIS
  18. 18. SOCIAL GROUPS
  19. 19. SOCIAL GROUPS ENGAGED INTHE SOCIAL SHAPING OF DIGITAL RADIO Broadcasters Electronics Manufacturers Digital Radio Industry Regulators Public
  20. 20. SOCIAL GROUPS ENGAGED INTHE SOCIAL SHAPING OF DIGITAL RADIO Independent 
 Broadcasters Broadcasters Commercial Broadcasters Public Service Broadcasters Electronics Manufacturers Digital Radio Industry Regulators Public
  21. 21. COMPETING TECHNOLOGIES
  22. 22. DAB/DAB+ • Created by EBU members, PSBs and Electronics Manufacturers (Bosch, Siemens, Telefunken, Philips,Thomson etc.) • Created to afford nation-wide coverage, low local flexibility • Spectrum efficient and higher audio quality thanks to multiplex channelization • Multiplex: 16 channels in 1536kHz bandwidth • Single Frequency Network (SFN) • Multimedia • Conditional Access • Operates inVHF band III and UHF L-band
  23. 23. DRM • Created by commercial broadcasters to specifically digitalize bands below 30MHz (AM) • Created to afford both large nation-wide areas coverage and local flexibility • Spectrum efficient and higher audio quality thanks to multiplex channelization • Mini-Multiplex: 1-3 channels in 96kHz • Single Frequency Network (SFN) • Multimedia • Conditional Access • Reuses part of existing analogue transmission facilities • DRM (with DRM+) covers the whole radio spectrum
  24. 24. RADIOVIA IP • Webcasting, Podcasting,Audio Streaming Services • Convergence • On-Demand • Global distribution for every station • Broadens (and sometimes confuses) the traditional idea of radio ***Used to benchmark the state of art of digital radio standards***
  25. 25. INTERPRETATIVE FLEXIBILITY
  26. 26. ANALYSIS OF 5 COUNTRIES
  27. 27. INTERPRETATIVE FLEXIBILITY: DISCOURSES AROUND DIGITAL RADIO AFFORDANCES Higher Spectrum Efficiency Affordance: Higher Audio Quality Additional Radio Channels Interpretative Flexibility:
  28. 28. INTERPRETATIVE FLEXIBILITY: HIGHER AUDIO QUALITY Every Group “Increased value for the listener” “The economics of DAB/DAB+ are related to the number of channels available”
  29. 29. INTERPRETATIVE FLEXIBILITY: MORE AVAILABLE CHANNELS Commercial Broadcasters “Increased ROI” “More channels means more diversity” Independent Broadcasters “No means and interest to expand their output. No regulation about diversity.”
  30. 30. INTERPRETATIVE FLEXIBILITY: CONDITIONAL ACCESS Commercial Broadcasters “New Revenue Streams” Independent Broadcasters “Community Broadcasters are not for profit. It disrupts the typical free-to-air radio transmission.”
  31. 31. INTERPRETATIVE FLEXIBILITY: DISCOURSES AROUND DIGITAL RADIO AFFORDANCES Other arguments: • Requires to invest in completely new machinery
 • Licenses mandate to fill 1536kHz or share the multiplex with other broadcasters
 • Designed for nation wide areas: low local flexibility.
  32. 32. INTERPRETATIVE FLEXIBILITY: DISCOURSES AROUND DIGITAL RADIO AFFORDANCES Closure: • Free analog licenses renewal • Free digital licenses
 • Government contribution (33%) to digital licenses
 • Switchover mandated by the government (2017)
  33. 33. INTERPRETATIVE FLEXIBILITY: DISCOURSES AROUND DIGITAL RADIO AFFORDANCES Closure: • Independent Broadcasters engaged by implementing “digital islands” through a low cost DAB+ software solution (Digris AG)
 • Independent Broadcasters engaged “must-carry” agreement between RAI and Aeranti-Corallo (local and community broadcasters association)
  34. 34. INTERPRETATIVE FLEXIBILITY: FLEXIBILITY & FULL SPECTRUM OPERATION Independent Broadcasters “Better local coverage No need to share facilities Need to only fill 96 kHz 1-3 channels”
  35. 35. INTERPRETATIVE FLEXIBILITY: FLEXIBILITY & FULL SPECTRUM OPERATION Electronics Manufacturers “Potential global market (different channelisations, frequency band allocation)”
  36. 36. INTERPRETATIVE FLEXIBILITY: REUSE PART OF ANALOG MACHINERY Radio Industry “Lower Profit Margins”Independent Broadcasters “More Affordable Investment”
  37. 37. INTERPRETATIVE FLEXIBILITY: DISCOURSES AROUND DIGITAL RADIO AFFORDANCES Other arguments: • Still in testing and evaluation phase • No infrastructure and political support
 • Low market penetration (in Europe).
  38. 38. CONCLUSIONS Affordances effectively set the limits for the political and economic goals of their use
  39. 39. CONCLUSIONS Maintain existing industry structures by creating new technological barriers • Nation wide coverage design • Large multiplex bandwidth • High investments costs
  40. 40. CONCLUSIONS The economic legitimisation of a cultural industry •Vertical integration • Cost-effective products • No guarantee of diversity
  41. 41. CONCLUSIONS Legitimating complex decisions in terms of narrow technical concerns The social shaping of digital radio affordances in Europe followed: Technocratic Values and the Marketplace Rules “Economic” remains the determinant
  42. 42. DISCUSSION
  43. 43. APPENDIX
  44. 44. TIMELINE 1981 1987 1992 1993 1995 1996 1985 1988 1993 1994 1995 1997 European Research Project Start Eureka 147 Project Foundation Eureka 147 counts 19 Broadcasters and Electronics Manufacturers First DAB trials in Germany Foundation of AER (Association of European Radios) First public DAB transmissions in UK First IP-Radio “Internet Talk Radio” DAB receives ITU specification BBC builds first fully operative Multiplex First generation of streaming audio players Virgin FM London First Simulcast Online DAB receives ETSI specification
  45. 45. TIMELINE 1997 2001 2005 2006 2009 2012 1999 2003 2005 2006 2011 2015 DRM Foundation in China First DRM Presentation at NAB DRM counts 80 members in 30 countries DRM recommended by Community Media Forum DAB+ receives ETSI & ITU specification DAB covers 20 countries and 284M listeners DRM+ First Presentation DAB covers 40 countries and 500M listeners RRC06 Frequency Plan DRM+ receives ETSI specification Digital Switchover date for CEPT Digital Switchover date for RRC06
  46. 46. PRIMARY SOURCES • Technical specifications, Recommendations, Implementations guidelines [Ex:“Final draft ETSI ES 201 980 V4.1.1 (2013-11) - Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM); System Specification”]. • Legislations and Regulations [Ex:“St.meld. nr. 62 (1996-97) Kringkasting og dagspresse 1996 m.v.”] • Licenses [Ex:“Ofcom Local Multiplex License (Fac-Simile)”] • Reports and Strategy plans [Ex:“From FM to DAB+, Final Report of the Digital Migration Working Group”] • Presentations [Ex:“Cornell, Lindsay. 'Unified Hybrid Radio'. 2015. Presentation.”] • Press releases and Newspaper articles [Ex:“Sveriges Radio,. Cilla Benkö Comments OnThe Swedish Government’S Decision Regarding DAB. 2015.”] • Websites [Ex:“Worlddab.org,. 'Current Situation | History -Sweden | Country Information | Worlddmb’.”] • Consultations,White papers and Position papers [Ex:“Risposte alla Consultazione AGCOM per i Servizi 
 Radiofonici (Delibera AGCOM n.665 del 23.11.06)”].
  47. 47. UNITED KINGDOM • Only country implementing DAB (not DAB+) • DAB started by the BBC, subsequently joined by commercial broadcasters • First public DAB transmissions in 1995 • 1990 Broadcasting Act shifts the license issue responsibility from Radio Authority Ofcom to the network operators • Vertical integration: Media conglomerates can expand into network operation business • DAB network planning replicates the analogue one • Incentives were offered to broadcasters willing to take up DAB • No regulation about audio quality / number of stations per multiplex • Digital switchover currently set to 2020-2022.
  48. 48. • DAB+ started by commercial and independent broadcasters consortia • First public DAB+ transmissions in 2007 • RAI signed an agreement for the must-carry obligation of local and community broadcasters transmissions from its facilities • Very numerous local and community stations (4600 in FM) • Regulation states the number of channels per multiplex must be between 5 and 12, and it sets limits for audio quality accordingly • No single network operator: Every broadcaster consortium owns its facilities • No digital switchover planned ITALY
  49. 49. • DAB+ started by SRG SSR • First public DAB+ transmissions in 1999 • SRG SSR and some commercial broadcasters founded joint-ventures for the deployment of DAB+ networks in the German- and French-speaking regions • Regulators allowed the implementations of digital islands, small-scale DAB+ networks for community and local stations • Every broadcaster (even web-radios) is offered to join DAB+ with incentives on the licensing • Regulation states that number of channels per multiplex and the limits for audio quality must be agreed with every actor in the industry • Digital switchover currently set to 2020-2022. SWITZERLAND
  50. 50. NORWAY • DAB+ started by NRK • First public DAB+ transmissions in 1995 • The only country which already set the digital switchover hard date to 2017 • Regulation states that where the capacity of a multiplex can not be filled by local stations, those willing to be transmitted by DAB+ must cover the full licensing fee • NRK and the main commercial broadcasters founded a joint-venture with the ambition of becoming the organization issuing digital licenses in the future • Norkring is the only network operator in the country • Some 22 local stations were enforced to stop FM transmissions • The only local licenses were awarded with no coverage requirements, no warranty over investment risks and the possibility of officialization after the trials.
  51. 51. • DAB+ started by Sveriges Radio • First public DAB+ transmissions in 1995 • Commercial broadcasters were involved only with the 2010 Radio & TV Act, which opened digital licenses for commercial broadcasters • Regulation states that where the capacity of a multiplex can not be filled by local stations, those willing to be transmitted by DAB+ must cover the full licensing fee • Regulation does not mandate any bitrate requirement, instead the minimal accommodation of services on the multiplex is 16 channels at 72kbps • Teracom is the only network operator in the country • In Sweden the experience of community närradio is well established and no solution in DAB+ was yet found for this sector. • A digital switchover was formulated in cooperation with SR and the main commercial broadcasters for 2020. The National Audit criticized the plan and in 2015 the Ministry of Culture announced it was postponed. SWEDEN
  52. 52. Matteo Campostrini Thank you!

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